Everton & West Ham make contact with Napoli star's agent

  • Tom Kelly
Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic

Journalist Nicolo Schira has revealed that Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic will leave on a free at the end of the season, and two Premier League clubs are interested in the Serbian. 

What’s the latest news involving Maksimovic?

Schira told his followers on Twitter that the 29-year-old will depart Naples as a free agent and revealed which teams are interested in the defender. 

“Many clubs are interested in him. Inter and AS Roma from Serie A and Everton and West Ham from the Premier League have asked info to his agent Fali Ramadani.” 

What has 20/21 been like for Maksimovic? 

Maksimovic struggled to establish himself in this Napoli side at the start of the season, as he only made four Serie A appearances between September and the end of 2020, according to WhoScored

During this time, the centre-back was predominantly deployed in the Europa League, where he made six appearances before the turn of the year. 

However, it appears that Gennaro Gattuso has recently placed his faith in the Serbian. In 2021, Maksimovic has gone onto make 12 Serie A appearances and formed a solid partnership alongside Kalidou Koulibaly. 

What is Maksimovic’s style of play?

Standing at 6 foot 4, the towering defender has previously been compared to his fellow countryman and former Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic. 

In Sere A this season, the Napoli man has had averaged 2.8 clearances and 1.9 aerial duels per game.

However, Maksimovic isn’t simply a no-nonsense centre-back. He has played at both right and left-back as well as stepping into midfield throughout in his career, according to Transfermarkt, while his pass completion rate in Serie A this season is 92.5%.

Do West Ham and Everton need another centre-back? 

Despite playing somewhat of a back-up role recently, Fabian Balbuena’s Irons contract is due to expire this summer and it may be worth bringing in Maksimovic.

 At 29, the former Torino man is the same age as the West Ham defender and can effectively act as a like-for-like replacement. 

In the case of Everton, the Toffees are currently in the market for a central defender and have been linked with Maksimovic’s team-mate Koulibaly. 

According to Transfermarkt, the Senegalese defender is worth £45m, so bringing Maksimovic to Merseyside would be the far cheaper option.

Although, Everton are apparently on the search for a “world class” defender and the Serbian doesn’t fit that description. 

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Alexey Smertin - Chelsea

Can you name this obscure former Premier League player?

Would he be a good signing? 

The 25-cap international is a proven defender and would ultimately be a sensible purchase for either West Ham or Everton. 

He may not immediately stroll into either first team, but he’d certainly be a strong addition to their respective squads. 

When combining his experience in European competitions and his natural height with the fact he will be available on a free, Maksimovic represents a low-risk deal for either club. 

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