A player reportedly sought after by Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti has been deemed “probably the best player in Holland in defensive areas” by Alan Pardew.
According to Calciomercato, AZ Alkmaar midfielder Teun Koopmeiners is on the Toffees’ radar, as well as that of Premier League rivals West Ham and Italian giants AC Milan.
The 22-year-old club captain has enjoyed a sensational season, scoring 11 Eredivisie goals from just 25 appearances, and 16 goals in all competitions.
AZ were neck and neck with Ajax in the Eredivisie, level on points with the Amsterdam side at the top of the table with 13 games to go.
However, the global health crisis saw the 2019-20 Eredivisie season scrapped, with neither AZ nor Ajax crowned champions.
Furthermore, arguably the league’s most attractive side could now see their squad picked apart, with scouts across Europe surely loving what they’ve seen from Arne Slot’s side.
AZ boast a number of high-quality players including Myron Boadu, Calvin Stengs and Oussama Idrissi, but former ADO Den Haag boss Pardew singled Koopmeiners out for praise.
“The AZ captain Teun Koopmeiners, a left-footed centre back who can sit in midfield, is probably the best player in Holland in defensive areas,” the Englishman told the Daily Mail.
Though you can’t blame the Dutch football authorities for their decision in light of current events, you have to feel for AZ, a relatively modest club that have previously won the Eredivisie just twice – in comparison, the big three of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord have won it 73 times between them.
Their efforts this season have ultimately been for nothing except putting the players in the shop window, and it would not be surprising to see their star players depart before the start of the new season – whenever that may be.
From an Everton point of view, however, they could be getting their hands on a high-quality, versatile player with a great track record from the penalty spot and who, at 22, has shown enough maturity and leadership to be given the captain’s armband.