Everton’s clumsy defence undoubtedly had a lot to account for as one of the Premier League’s constants during a gruelling 2021/22 season as they flirted with relegation. But Frank Lampard’s woefully unreliable centre defenders cannot take all the heat.
Brazilian midfielder Allan has the responsibility of putting out our fires before they spread into a raging inferno. But over the last year, the 31-year-old has regularly fallen short of the challenge, allowing several opposing strikers to expose his lack of mobility in the number six position.
Harry Redknapp, a former manager of Tottenham, West Ham, and Southampton, said, “If you go through them, man for man, it’s a bad outfit.”
They made poor hiring decisions. Midfield is lacking in legs. Allan, a little child, cannot run. He is unable to navigate the pitch.
Guido Rodriguez replaces Allan at Everton.
The Argentine international with a steel cap from Real Betis completed more tackles per game than any other player in La Liga (three per 90 minutes, WhoScored). Additionally, no member of the Everton team finished more than 2.6.
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Rodriguez is equally good both with and without the ball. His pass completion rate of 85% is higher than that of every Everton player except Cenk Tosun and Moise Kean, who each had just one Premier League appearance.
Since moving to England in a £30 million transfer from Napoli, Allan has had his moments. However, Everton is losing goals at an astonishing rate as a result of his lack of pace, which has started to become a recurring problem. In addition, he will turn 32 in February.
Ageing Allan not the answer to Everton’s problems
In fact, given his apparent unsuitability for a deep-lying role, some have claimed that Allan might be better effective as a box-to-box shuttler.
A guy who was added to the team to take Idrissa Gana Gueye’s position hasn’t done anything like that. Gueye departed for Paris Saint-Germain three years ago.
And his departure is still felt very much at a club that, if the same problems are not resolved, would have them back in the same situation in 2022–2023.
Enter Guido Rodriguez, who although not exactly a miracle worker for all of Everton’s ills, can at least cauterise the team’s gangrenous defensive wounds.
Estadio Deportivo reports that Everton and Real Betis are in negotiations over a possible £33 million transfer fee for the late-blooming enforcer.
And it is not a leap to say that Guido Rodriguez may be Everton’s most significant – and transformative – arrival since Gueye crossed the Channel given where their issues are.