There was a period in recent memory when Everton had a solid centre-back situation. Phil Jagielka was a consistent performer at the heart of defence. Sylvain Distin was perhaps the most under-rated centre-back in the Premier League. Meanwhile, John Stones was an emerging talent who performed better every time he featured. Ramiro Funes Mori was even looking like a star in the making.
However, times have changed.
The sands of time caught up with Jagielka and Distin whilst Stones moved on to Manchester City where he has developed into the defender many thought he would. Funes Mori suffered with injury and is now in Spain at Villarreal.
Based on recent displays against Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, Everton still haven’t sorted this problem which first emerged in the days of Roberto Martinez.
The club spent a potential £30 million on Michael Keane last summer. This summer, they snapped up Colombian defender Yerry Mina for £27.2 million. Kurt Zouma arrived on what must have been a sizeable loan fee. When you consider Mason Holgate’s stagnation, a £2 million recruit from Barnsley, and the problem looks even worse.
But none of them have improved the fortunes at the back for Everton.
Mina perhaps needs time to settle. But his struggles against City were highly concerning. Zouma and Keane were obliterated by the Tottenham attack yesterday, in a 6-2 defeat.
Everton have thrown nearly £60 million at solving this problem and have still failed to find anyone with the consistency Jags and Distin had or talent Stones possessed.
Hopefully, the current options buck up their ideas soon so Everton can get out of this woeful run of form.