Analysis

Everton look towards Merih Demiral for defensive reinforcements in the summer

Merih-Demiral-Everton

8th in the table after 35 games, Carlo Ancelotti has covered a lot of ground in the Premier League this season and the Toffees could secure a place in Europe next season if things to plan.

If Everton does get into the Europa League, they will need quality squad depth, and Carlo Ancelotti, so far, has nailed his transfer dealings at Everton. The likes of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have justified their price tags this season while James Rodriguez was the jewel in the crown for Ancelotti.

However, the area Ancelotti is keen on improving in the summer is the defence and as per The Sun, Everton are interested in signing Juventus defender Merih Demiral.

COULD MERIH DEMIRAL MAKE THE MOVE TO ENGLAND?

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Merih Demiral, who has often been described as the ‘pride of Turkey’s defence’, joined Juventus from Sassuolo in 2019 as an understudy to the likes of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. However, unfortunately for Demiral, Juventus have had some of their poorer league seasons in the past 2 years, which in turn, has limited the game time afforded to the Turk, who is now getting unsettled because of that. 

With only over 31 appearances over the two, Demiral was hoping to play more for the Italian outfit by now and if things do not change, a move to another club could be on the cards and Carlo Ancelotti is really interested in the defender.

WHY IS CARLO ANCELOTTI INTERESTED?

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Demiral, now 23, has featured 14 times this season for the Old Lady and has impressed whenever he has started a game. The Turk has averaged 2.6 clearances per 90 mins this season while also averaging 2 interceptions per game. Everton have been on the lookout for a defender who is sturdy and can help pass the ball out from the back. 

Demiral covers every definition of the ‘modern-day’ defender with the 23-year-old maintaining a 93% pass completion rate this season, which is an incredible number, no matter the size of club one plays for. Another important statistic that must have caught Ancelotti’s eye is that in the 14 games Demiral has played for Juventus this season, they have not lost a single game as he improves Juve’s defence every time he steps onto the pitch.

With Michael Keane and Yerry Mina solid options at the back, Ancelotti needs a commanding figure and Demiral fits the bill. While there has been criticism of the Turk in terms of positioning and tackling, Ancelotti has a track record of improving and getting the best out of his players and Demiral will certainly develop brilliantly under the Italian. 

Demiral’s contract, however, expires in June 2024, and if Everton does want to procure his services, they will have to pay Juventus a sizeable fee for the Turk. Everton, as per reports, are ready to splash £25 million for Merih Demiral, however, Juventus are keen on securing a fee between £30-35 million for the defender, and given his contract situation, Juventus will not budge.

Everton are eager and have the ambition to improve and compete for a place in the Top 4 next season, and a player like Merih Demiral could prove to be a very fine step in that direction.

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