Reports this week in the Mirror have linked Newcastle centre-back Jamaal Lascelles with a £25 million summer move to Everton.
If the Toffees were to secure the signature of the highly-rated English defender, it would represent a stunning transfer coup that would revitalise their aging backline.
Lascelles has excelled under Rafa Benitez the past three seasons, transforming from a third-choice centre-back to club captain and a vital defensive mainstay.
His impressive performances at the back have steered the Magpies towards Premier League safety this season, and have even prompted speculation over an England call-up.
The 24-year-old’s stunning form was rewarded in October 2017, when the centre-back penned a new six-year contract at St. James’ Park, revealing the challenge Everton faces in prying away their defensive target.
In addition, Benitez has publicly stated the club will not consider selling Lascelles this summer.
Nevertheless, the defender is the ideal man to instill defensive solidity at Goodison Park and lead Everton back towards the upper reaches of the Premier League.
The Toffees have struggled at the back all year long, with aging defenders such as Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka clearly no longer able to produce quality performances at the top level.
Furthermore, young centre-back Michael Keane has found form hard to come by and looks set to miss out on a World Cup berth this summer.
Only five Premier League clubs have conceded more than Everton’s 55 goals to date this season, a startling statistic that reveals their porous defence.
It is clear that the Merseyside club requires a massive summer clear-out of their backline, and the signing of imperious centre-back Jamaal Lascelles would be the perfect first step in turning around their defensive misfortunes.