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‘He makes better decisions’: Pundit lauds Everton-linked star who ‘has more quality’ than Doucoure

Goncalo Santos has told the Liverpool Echo that Sporting Lisbon midfielder Matheus Nunes could triple his value in two to three years at Everton.

The Goodison Park outfit are exploring a deal to bring Nunes to the Premier League this summer. A Bola claim it is only a matter of time before the 22-year-old arrives on Merseyside after edging rival interest from Newcastle.

Everton will pay the Liga NOS champions €18m (£15.5m) rising to €20m (£17m) with add-ons for Nunes. He will also net a €1m-a-year pay rise, penning a £20,000-per-week contract up from his current £3k-p/w deal.

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Everton had explored a loan-to-buy move for Nunes, but Sporting rejected it after he helped to their first title in 19 years. The Brazilian offered three goals and two assists in 31 Liga NOS outings last term, starting 12.

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Santos feels Nunes can now improve the Blues’ options ahead of the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti’s successor. As he believes his former Estoril Praia teammate is “unbelievable” with the ball and could be better than Abdoulaye Doucoure.

“If he can join Everton now, it’s much better than in two or three years,” Santos said. “Everton will pay less money and Matheus will grow up there and improve his game. Maybe in a few seasons, his market value will be three or four times bigger.

“He is similar to Doucoure; he is physical, he runs so much, but Matheus has more quality with the ball. He makes better decisions, has better passing, better control and he understands when he needs to slow the game down.”

TBR’s view: Everton bagging a bargain with Nunes

Santos’ comments suggest Everton will be bagging a bargain by signing Nunes, who he expects has “10 years ahead of him” playing at the highest level. The Toffees will also hope the Brazilian can quickly triple or quadruple his value.

Nunes showed a lot of potential with Sporting last season to see that Everton moved to edge interest from Newcastle. The midfielder scored a few vital goals in the Liga NOS against Braga and Benfica that helped seal the title.

He is also versatile and showing no signs of his development slowing down any time soon. But whether he is better than Doucoure, who Everton paid Watford £20m for last summer and proved key for Ancelotti, from the off is doubtful.

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