Everton have reportedly set their sights on Atletico Madrid star Santiago Arias, but would he be a good signing for the club?
According to claims from Spanish news outlet El Gol Digital, the Toffees have established an interest in signing the defender, who could cost up to €35 million this summer.
Arias had a solid campaign in La Liga under Diego Simeone and is currently away on international duty with Colombia as they compete in Copa America.
Everton will undoubtedly be hoping to speed up their summer dealings, but should they make a move for the full-back, who is valued at a premium price by Atletico?
The Toffees appear to be on the lookout for a new right-sided defender. Seamus Coleman was a consistent performer last season, but following Jonjoe Kenny’s loan move to Schalke, added quality and depth is required.
Arias is no stranger to Everton transfer guru Marcel Brands, who recruited the Colombian for PSV Eindhoven from Sporting CP in 2011. He will be well aware of what the defender has to offer, and it comes as little surprise to see him targeting his former recruit.
The 27-year-old appeared 25 times for Atletico in their La Liga campaign last term, but a move to the Premier League could be appealing for the player as the Toffees attempt to flex their financial muscle once again.
Although diminutive, Arias has exceptional balance and reads the game intelligently. He is an aggressive player who attempts to burst forward and contribute to combination play, offering himself as an outlet down the flank.
The Colombia man has displayed his ability to play on the international and continental stage, shining for his country and his clubs – past and present – in European competitions. As Everton push to reclaim their place in the top seven, this level of experience would be useful.
Arias would appear to be an upgrade on Coleman, who despite his exploits last season, is among the players in Marco Silva’s starting line-up who can be improved upon.
Although this would be a pricey deal for Everton, full-backs are essential in their system, and €35 million could be well spent on landing the Atletico star.