Reeling from the news Leighton Baines will be sidelined for a spell that’s likely to cross the three-month threshold, Everton are rumoured to be weighing up a move for a new left-back.
The Toffees transfer blueprint dictates that when a squad-bolstering shopping trip is afoot, Manchester United reserves is the paramount first port of call.
When initial scouring of the Red Devils second string yielded no suitable left-back targets (they toyed with the idea of converting Javier Hernandez for several hours to no avail), Roberto Martinez was ready to forget the whole thing, when a United coach called him to one side and whispered about a Dutch player they once had.
Alexander Buttner is his name, best remembered at Old Trafford for…well, nothing really.
After two seasons of competing for a spot in the Under-21 team, the 26-year-old was sold to Dynamo Moscow, from whom Everton are contemplating loaning him in light of the latest Baines development, or so say the Daily Mail.
If this is to be taken as fact, it represents an act of transfer madness that ranks alongside the zaniest of moves ever made by the Toffees, a team who once offered a weekly wage to Antolin Alcaraz.
Firstly, why is a new left-back needed?
Baines is out for three months, not three years. He’ll be back before Christmas and there are plenty of understudies already on board capable of providing sufficient relief.
Youngster Brendan Galloway cost what is believed to be in the region of £2m to sign from MK Dons; this is an unforeseen opportunity to enhance his progression with a lengthy run in the first team. If his inexperience means he can’t be depended upon, then Costa Rican international Bryan Oviedo can fill in.
Fledgling England left-back Luke Garbutt was loaned out this summer owing to the congestion levels in his position, further inflating them on the back of one injury is not practical, especially when other areas of the team desperately need addressing.
Phil Jagielka and John Stones, who may yet sign for Chelsea, are their only real centre-back options, while a reliable alternative to Romelu Lukaku is much needed up front.
Furthermore, their luck with United benchwarmers seems to be wearing thin, or so the Darron Gibson acquisition would suggest.
Where the signings Phil Neville and Louis Saha could’ve gone wrong, but didn’t, Irishman Gibson represents a convincing case for revoking the Red Devils reserves’ trusted trader stamp. Even reliable net minder Tim Howard has been letting off past-the-sell-by-date pongs in recent months.
Minus Baines, Everton travel to Southampton this weekend, where a price of 10/3 says they’ll win.
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