Everton are among the clubs keen on a move for Sheffield United's Sander Berge, according to Sky Sports.
Indeed, EuroSport claimed back in March that the midfielder was all but certain to leave Bramall Lane and The Athletic recently suggested he had a buy-out clause in his contract, though the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal have also been linked.
For Everton, however, this summer looks to be a big one.
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While there have been fleeting moments of promise under Carlo Ancelotti, their mixed run of form this season would suggest the balance of their squad isn't quite right, particularly when some of their key players are injured.
With that in mind, it might make sense to start padding out the options behind some of the big names Ancelotti has already brought to Goodison Park, as well as to give the celebrated Italian tactician more in the way of steel, given they have put in meek performances against the likes of Newcastle United and Fulham.
So, would Berge complete Everton's midfield? GIVEMESPORT writers Jonathan Gorrie, Christy Malyan, Joshua Cole and Sam Brookes have their say below.
While Everton could certainly do with more options, I'm not totally convinced Berge could offer anything they don't already have.
Clearly, having another body in the squad would always likely be helpful but in Allan and Tom Davies, there is already sufficient cover in the anchor role and Abdoulaye Doucore can also play there if needs be.
Indeed, if (and it's a big if) Jean-Philippe Gbamin can stay fit, he can also operate there. In a strange way, Gbamin could be a savior in freeing up funds elsewhere.
Having scored such few goals outside of Dominic Calvert-Lewin this season (no one else has managed double figures in the Premier League) Ancelotti must beg for funds to strengthen his attacking ranks, not his defensive ones.
“Although Berge was unable to prevent basement boys Sheffield United from suffering relegation to Championship earlier this year, he has illustrated some signs of promise during his time at Bramall Lane.
“As well as producing a pass success rate of 85.3% which is the best total recorded by a regular first-team player, the midfielder ranks second amongst his Blades team-mates when it comes to key passes per game (0.9).
“Whilst Everton do have an abundance of options to choose from in central-midfield due to the presence of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies and Fabian Delph, the arrival of Berge could force these players to step up their performance levels.
“Providing that the Toffees are able to secure the services of Berge for a relatively modest fee, it could turn out to be a quality signing as the midfielder may end up thriving under the guidance of Ancelotti.”
"Bigger fish to fry.
"Everton need to figure out their priorities ahead of this summer’s transfer window, and midfield should not be high on their list.
"They already have a more than capable midfield pairing of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure to slot in behind James Rodriguez. Instead, they should be focusing on strengthening their defence which has shipped 42 league goals – West Ham are the only top-half team who have conceded more.
"Berge may go onto be a success story somewhere else, but right now Everton do not need him, as their midfield is not the reason that they have fallen short of cracking the top seven this year".
"I like Sander Berge because he can seem to do a bit of everything. He's tall and physically imposing, but he's shown flurries of impressive technical ability throughout his time at Sheffield United as well. In that respect I see him as a similar kind of midfielder to Abdoulaye Doucoure - someone who can contribute in all phases of play and assert themselves physically on the opposition.
"He'd make an ideal partner for Doucoure in midfield which when combined with Allan sitting just behind should give Everton a really sturdy engine room. Perhaps it would lack an element of ingenuity but in some respects that's the ingeniousness of it. With those three providing the defensive solidity, robustness and industriousness centrally, it gives a platform for the likes of Richarlison and James Rodriguez to really operate freely higher up the pitch.
"Likewise, it should also allow for Lucas Digne and potential new signing Max Aarons to constantly get forward on the overlap, creating a shape and structure to Everton's team that isn't so different from Liverpool's on the other side of Stanley Park."News Now - Sport News