It seems as though Ricardo Rodriguez could be on his way out of AC Milan after just one season at the San Siro. According to a report from Calcio News 24 the Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso is not convinced by the Swiss international and is prepared to let him go in the summer. Tutto Mercato Web also reports a similar view. They believe Milan will sign Cristiano Biraghi from Fiorentina this summer to replace the left-back, with Rodriguez a target for Borussia Dortmund.
Rodriguez was signed last summer from VfL Wolfsburg. Rated as one of the best left-backs in the world during his time at the German club, Milan paid a fee in the region of £13 million to bring him to Italy, as reported by the Daily Mail, potentially rising to £15.6 million.
That was seen as a bargain at the time and, even at a more expensive price, Everton should be taking note.
It seems that after 11 years Everton legend Leighton Baines has decided he will leave Goodison Park this summer. He is said to be keen on a move to MLS and will leave as perhaps one of the club’s greatest ever full-backs.
But his exit leaves a chasm in the left-back position. Everton are believed to be keen in Leeds youngster Tom Pearce, but still need a first-team replacement for the departing England international.
Rodriguez is almost a carbon copy of Baines. A left-back who can do his defensive duties, but also adds an extra dimension in attack.
The Swiss star has an excellent delivery and will chip in with assists in a similar style to Baines. He is also a set-piece specialist, like Baines. Free-kicks and penalties often represent a chance for the 25-year-old to get on the scoresheet.
This season has not been Rodriguez’s best. With just two assists, both coming in the Europa League, the defensive style of Milan’s play has stifled his attacking streak.
But Rodriguez is perhaps a better defender than Baines and would fit into the Premier League with relative ease.
If Everton were looking for a replacement for Baines, then Milan have just handed them the perfect option on a plate if they move fast.
Securing Rodriguez’s signature before the World Cup would be a massive coup for Everton, and perhaps solve the problem of replacing Baines in the long-term.