Everton are monitoring Wolfsburg winger Josip Brekalo ahead of the summer transfer window, according to The Express.
What's the latest news on Josip Brekalo?
The Toffees have reportedly been watching Brekalo for a number of months, and he has enjoyed a fine season in the Bundesliga with Wolfsburg.
They are not the only club keeping an eye on Brekalo, though. The 22-year-old is also being tracked by fellow Premier League outfit Leeds, as well as Bayern Munich and Napoli.
What are Brekalo's stats this season?
Brekalo has been a regular in the Wolfsburg side this season, featuring in 28 league matches. In those games he has notched seven goals and three assists, giving him 10 goal contributions for the campaign. Only Dominic Calvert-Lewin (16) has managed more than this for Everton in the Premier League.
He has also chalked up 36 key passes, as per WhoScored, which would put him third in the Everton rankings behind James Rodriguez and Lucas Digne (both 38).
The Croatian forward was at his best this past weekend, netting a hat-trick against Union Berlin as Wolfsburg ran out resounding 3-0 winners.
What are Everton's transfer priorities this summer?
It was reported earlier this week that Carlo Ancelotti would like to make upgrades in two specific positions this summer.
He is looking to bring in a right winger and a centre-back in the next transfer window, as he appears to not be convinced by his options for these roles at the moment.
Brekalo seems to be in the running to fill the berth out wide if he does move to Goodison Park in the coming months.
Is Ancelotti about to make a big problem even worse?
This could be the case.
While it has been reported that Brekalo is comfortable off either flank, his positional statistics paint a slightly different picture.
According to Transfermarkt, the 22-cap international has only played off the right wing on seven occasions in 2020/21, and is yet to score a goal from that position. In comparison, he has played from the left 21 times, and scored seven goals.
Looking back across his whole career, Brekalo has been used on the left in 112 matches, as opposed to only featuring on the right in 22 games. It seems fairly clear that he prefers to start on the left wing and cut inside onto his favoured right foot.
Unfortunately for him, Everton already have these types of players in Richarlison, Alex Iwobi and Bernard. The former two have played on the right at times this season, but it is thought that Ancelotti believes they are more suited to playing on the left or more centrally. Meanwhile, Rodriguez started the year on the right, but has featured more centrally in the second half of the campaign.
It is becoming a problem for the Italian coach that he has multiple options that can theoretically play on the right, but are actually much stronger on the left or through the middle, forcing compromises in team selections.
This has left the team's attack unbalanced, and Brekalo is a similar mould of player to those already at the club. If Ancelotti adds Brekalo to his squad this summer, he would simply exacerbate the problem that he already has rather than fixing it.News Now - Sport News