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Everton must challenge Bournemouth for Kieran Tierney

The Scottish international could be the perfect long-term replacement to Everton stalwart Leighton Baines.

Mathew Nash

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This week it was reported that Bournemouth have made Celtic defender Kieran Tierney one of their top transfer targets for the summer. Sky Sports suggest that Eddie Howe wants to improve his left-back options and the Scottish international is now their number one target for the position.

But if Bournemouth are going for Tierney, then Everton need to up the ante if they are keen on the player.

Everton need to improve their defensive options. The left-back position, in particular, is a major concern at Goodison Park. When Leighton Baines suffered an injury earlier this season the alarming lack of cover in the position left Cuco Martina filling in admirably.

The fact is, Baines is reaching the latter years of his career and a long-term replacement needs to be sought. Of all the options available to Everton, Tierney could, in fact, be the best.

The Bhoys defender is a similar player to Baines, in that he is a major threat going forward. He will struggle to match the assist record that Baines has had at Everton over the years, but he would certainly be an attacking option.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The main difference between the pair, however, could be that Tierney is better defensively. He has played at centre-back in the past and that may be a reason to consider Tierney something of a Baines upgrade going forward.

Some will dismiss the Scotsman as perhaps not being ready for regular Premier League football. But Everton must look at the success Liverpool have had with Tierney’s countryman Andrew Robertson and realise the Celtic player is worth a chance.

Last summer, a report from the Daily Mail suggested Celtic valued Tierney at £17 million. But after an improvement this season and the signing of a new deal in October, that fee could end up being more.

But Everton have shown they are not afraid to invest in young talent recently and Tierney could be the answer to their left-back problem for many years to come. If Bournemouth are stepping up the chase for the 20-year-old talent, then Everton must make sure they respond.

Everton

Michael Keane is vulnerable at Everton after Mason Holgate’s weekend performance

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Photo: Getty Images

With Everton captain Phil Jagielka suspended for the Toffees’ weekend clash against Southampton, Marco Silva opted to hand youngster Mason Holgate a start in the heart of defence.

Paired alongside Michael Keane, the 21-year-old gave a mature performance in victory over the Saints and there is now a very good chance that he will be given future first team opportunities.

This could leave Keane very vulnerable, with the likes of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma yet to be considered for the starting XI.

Keane hasn’t done anything near enough to live up to the reputation that followed him after his £30 million move from Turf Moor two summers’ ago.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

After a difficult start to life in Merseyside under Ronald Koeman, he has since fallen out of contention for Gareth Southgate’s England side.

The former Burnley man has looked sluggish and error prone and there is a feeling around Goodison Park that he will become drastically exposed against some of the more menacing top flight sides.

With £27.19 million summer signing Mina on the verge of full fitness, following the World Cup, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him replace Keane in the first team in the coming weeks.

This change would pave way for a young, fresh and exciting centre-back partnership of Holgate and Mina – a solid platform for Silva to build his new team around.

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Everton round-up: Bolasie hijacked, Williams to Bolton and Mina deals emerge

A selection of the latest news and gossip from Everton.

Mathew Nash

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Bolasie hijack

Aston Villa are hoping to hijack any deal for Everton winger Yannick Bolasie. It has looked increasingly likely that the DR Congo winger was on his way to Middlesbrough to work with former Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis.

However, as reported by Birmingham Live, Villa are hopeful they can still convince him to head to Villa Park on a season-long loan.

Bolasie is reportedly set to hold talks with Villa today.

The £25 million wideman has been told he does not feature in Everton’s plans this season.

6th March 2018, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales; EFL Championship Football, Cardiff City versus Barnsley; Joe Williams of Barnsley and Kenneth Zohore of Cardiff City battle for the ball (Photo by Nathan Munkley/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Williams destination

Everton youngster Joe Williams is set to head out on loan this week. The impressive midfielder spent last season at Barnsley and is now heading back to the Championship.

According to Football Insider, he will be on his way to Bolton Wanderers. The likes of Bristol City and Birmingham City were also keen on the player but it seems the Trotters have won the race for the highly-rated 21-year-old.

Mina buy-back

Marca have shed more light on the deal that saw Yerry Mina head to Everton. The Toffees paid £28.5 million for the player on deadline day. However, it was quickly confirmed that Barcelona retained a buy-back option for the player.

That fee is set at £53.7 million. Marca have confirmed however that Barcelona cannot exercise any option until 2020.

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Free agent target Miguel Veloso has twice outclassed Everton in Europa League thrashings

The Portuguese midfielder has a fantastic record against Everton.

Mathew Nash

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This week has seen Everton linked with a move for the Portugues international Miguel Veloso. The 32-year-old is currently a free agent after leaving Italian side Genoa this summer. TEAMtalk is, therefore, suggesting that he might be a perfect option for Everton to add depth to their squad, considering his flexibility across numerous positions.

The 56-cap international has long been linked with moves to England after impressive form with the likes of Genoa and Dynamo Kiev, not to mention his national team. The Euro 2016 winner was also magnificent for Sporting Lisbon, something fans of Everton can surely attest to.

In 2010 Everton were on something of a European run. They had made it to the last 32 of the Europa League and defeated Sporting 2-1 at Goodison Park thanks to goals from Steven Pienaar and Sylvain Distin.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 16: Miguel Veloso of Sporting Lisbon celebrates his spot kick during the UEFA Europa League Round 32 first leg match between Everton and Sporting Lisbon on February 16, 2010 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Veloso scored the worrying away goal in that game from the penalty spot. In the end, the Portuguese side did not need it. They tore Everton apart at home, winning 3-0 and booking their place in the last 16.

It was 0-0 at half-time in that fixture, but Sporting upped the ante in the second half – with Velos the instigator.

He controlled the game from midfield with his partner in crime Joao Moutinho. Mikel Arteta, Leon Osman and Diniyar Bilyaletdinov were left chasing shadows.

Dynamo Kiev’s Portuguese midfielder Miguel Veloso (2nd L) celebrates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Europa league round of 32 first leg football match Guingamp vs Dynamo Kiev on February 19, 2015 at the Roudourou stadium in Guingamp, western France. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD (Photo credit should read JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images)

Everton fans who remember that tie will know the innate quality Veloso possesses.

However, it was eight years ago and it is hard to see where Veloso would fit in now at Goodison Park. Well no worries, because an even more recent performance suggest he has not petered out. Dynamo Kiev thumped Everton 5-2 in the Europa League in 2015. It was a resounding result in which Everton were again outclassed. The man at the heart of Kiev’s midfield that night? It was once again Veloso, who also scored his side’s third goal

Based on his displays against Everton in the past, there is no doubt that Veloso could add something to the fold at Goodison Park.

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