Aston Villa Man the Right Midfielder for Everton?
Welcome back to Rating the Rumour, which does exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll be taking the biggest transfer rumours related to Premier League teams and rating the likelihood of the moves coming to fruition.
The final rating will be decided based on the potential fit of the player into the rumoured buying club, the need for that club to sign a player for the position played, whether the player is of the level required by the club, whether the club could afford the rumoured price and whether or not the player is even likely to be available for transfer.
We will not factor in the reliability of the rumour, as it would likely cause mass amounts of crying from outlets, journalists and “journalists” who would have to be denounced as spoofers.
With the ground rules laid out, let’s look at Leander Dendoncker to Everton, which has been reported by Football Insider.
Dendoncker works best next to mobile dynamic players, which he would have at Everton. He is a big physical presence and putting him alongside Amadou Onana and Abdoulaye Doucoure in the middle of the park would give Everton a physically commanding trio that should be able to bully opposition midfields.
Dendoncker is no slouch on the ball, but can sometimes get a bit overly ambitious with his passing. That is something which won’t fly with Sean Dyche who wants his midfielders to make smart decisions with the ball.
Fit Rating – 2/2
Do Everton really have need for another primarily defensive midfielder? They have Onana, Gana Gueye and James Garner who are all capable in that position, and all offer different profiles in the role. Dendoncker offers a different type of profile and presence to the other three and with Everton in a battle against relegation following their points deduction, they could use all the help they can get.
They have greater needs but another body in midfield is never a bad thing.
Need Rating – 1/2
Dendoncker is a proven operator in the Premier League having spent four years with Wolves and the last 15 months with Aston Villa. He has racked up 148 appearances in that time and shown himself to be a capable, reliable grafter in the middle of the park or as part of a back three.
He has fallen short of the level required to start for Aston Villa, a team chasing a Champions League spot, but is more than good enough to play a big role for relegation-threatened Everton.
Level Rating – 2/2
Villa were reported to have paid around £12mil for Dendoncker when they signed him from Wolves, and they would likely be looking to recover most of that investment. Perhaps an offer of £8mil with an additional sum in potential add-ons would be agreeable to the Villans if they were to decide to part with the Belgian international.
Everton aren’t flush with cash given their ownership situation but they may not have much choice but to spend in January as they scramble to stay in the Premier League.
Affordability Rating – 2/2
This is unknown. Dendoncker would likely prefer to play more than he currently does for Villa but there have been no rumblings of any unhappiness and he was joined at the Midlands club this past summer by his close friend Youri Tielemans. He may not be a starter, but he is an important squad player for Unai Emery, providing cover for the outstanding Boubacar Kamara, and, with Villa chasing top four and attempting to win the Europa Conference League it’s difficult to say if they’d sanction his departure in January.
Availability Rating – 1/2
Overall this rumour tracks as an 8/10. That doesn’t mean it’s a deal likely to happen, but the logic behind it appears solid.