Muhamed Besic has been confirmed as Everton’s second signing of the summer after he completed a £4m move from Ferencvaros. The Bosnia-Herzegovina international who made 3 appearances at the World Cup, has signed a five-year contract at Goodison Park. The 21-year-old was unable to play in the pre-season 1-0 defeat against Leicester City owing to a minor hold-up over the transfer but has now joined Gareth Barry as a permanent addition. Besic was born in Berlin and started his career at German club Hamburg SV, before moving to the Hungarian club in 2012. He became Bosnia-Herzegovina’s youngest player when making his debut at 18 against Slovakia and Martínez believes Besic’s versatility will be hugely important for the Toffees next season.
The Everton manager said:
“Muhamed is a young footballer who has developed massively in the last two seasons. He has been playing as a centre-half and as a defensive midfielder at an incredible level. What he did with Bosnia and Herzegovina in the World Cup, he showed that he is a really mature footballer, that he covers the ground really well, that he is very dynamic and technically very gifted. He is bringing us really good strength in an important part of the side.”
In this piece, I have compared Besic’s performances in the World Cup – in the group games, pitting them against fellow Bosnian Miralem Pjanic – who played a more advanced role – and arguably two of the best holding midfielders in this edition of the tournament in Javier Mascherano and French international Blaise Matuidi, to shed light on what the 21-year old can bring to the blue half of Merseyside.
Muhamed Besic – Strengths
The numbers associated with Besic clearly validate the fact that he is very comfortable doing the dirty work – as we would call it, dispossessing forward players, making interceptions and breaking down opposition moves more often than not, while proving he can also cover a lot of ground – blessed with a good engine. He is quite strong defensively, a versatile player that can play either as a holding midfielder or even a centre-back at times, as his tackling ability proves. He’s made 2 successful tackles per game which is only inferior to that of Mascherano who had quite an amazing tournament. A 91% success rate of take-ons, which convincingly betters what Mascherano managed to achieve, shows the confidence and clarity in his defending.
While the Bosnian has showcased a decent passing range with the average passing length amounting to 18 metres, he’s impressed with his success in finding a teammate as well with a 91% passing accuracy, a tad better than the other 3 midfielders in comparison. The most important statistic that should sum up what Besic is all about is his interceptions that he’s managed to make in the 3 games that he’s played. With 2.33 interceptions per game he topS the mini-comparison table again, which shows his tirelessness and the knack of reading the game well. Everton fans can already look forward to seeing another youngster star-man Barkley playing alongside Besic, part of what could turn out to be an energetic and high-voltage midfield.
Being a defensive midfielder and sometimes a centre-back, Besic contributes very little in terms of goals and key passes, something you would innately expect from a midfielder. Besic can be a bit rusty in his tackles at times as well, often fouling the approaching attacker and as if one didn’t need more evidence, he’s committed a total of 10 fouls in 3 games averaging 3.3 fouls per game, something he needs to work on.
(Stats from Squawka.com)
Everton have landed a mature youngster that can play multiple roles, strengthening the key areas of the team for an enviable fee. While Besic himself, far from being the finished article, has found a very stable home in Everton football club that can provide the best platform for the youngster to improve and excel.