Everton enter heated race for former Manchester United star; could be perfect for Dyche’s system

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Everton are one of several Premier League clubs considering a summer swoop for AS Roma defender Chris Smalling, according to reports. 

The former Manchester United man has well and truly revived his career in Serie A after making the move to Italy back in 2019.

Everton have struggled to maintain stability at the back this season, so it will be interesting to see if they can win the battle for Smalling’s signature.

According to 90min, Everton, along with Fulham, Leicester City and Manchester United are all keeping tabs on the Roma defender ahead of a potential summer move.

Since joining the Giallorossi four years ago, Smalling has made 128 appearances across all competitions, scoring 10 goals and making four assists in the process.

The England international has played a particularly key role since the arrival of Jose Mourinho in 2021, helping Roma to win the Europa Conference League last year – their first major trophy since 2008.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see a number of Premier League clubs looking to sign Smalling this summer.

The 33-year-old’s contract at the Stadio Olimpico is due to expire at the end of the current campaign, so it looks likely that he will be available on a free transfer.

READ MORE: Man Utd, Tottenham transfer hopes dashed as Everton seal Jordan Pickford fate while keeper confirms ambitious aim

Smalling could be ideal for Dyche’s system

Everton have enjoyed somewhat of a resurgence after the arrival of Sean Dyche in early February, guiding his team to victory in two of his four matches in charge so far.

However, their recent 2-0 loss to Aston Villa at Goodison Park has left them back in the relegation zone, so they still have a lot of work to do to earn their safety.

The Toffees have scored the least goals of any team in the Premier League this term after failing to sign a new centre-forward in Janaury, despite being linked to plenty of them. 

But, their defence is not exactly solid either, despite having the likes of Conor Coady, James Tarkowski, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate at their disposal.

As a result, it would make sense for Dyche to bring in another experienced centre-back next summer and Smalling represents a cheap, solid option, who could fit into his system well.

With Coady yet to agree a permanent deal at Goodison Park and putting in some shaky performances recently, Smalling could potentially be the perfect replacement for him next season, if they don’t opt to sign the Wolves loanee.

Smalling is coming towards the end of his career, though, so it wouldn’t exactly be a long-term addition for Everton.

However, for now, the defender is reportedly happy in Italy and is hopeful that he can pen a new contract with Roma.

READ MORE: Sean Dyche meeting Everton challenge head on but preaching three things to players to keep Toffees up

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