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Sevilla triumph will have Everton fans regretting Steven N’Zonzi failure

English Premier League

Sevilla triumph will have Everton fans regretting Steven N’Zonzi failure

The French midfielder was heavily linked with a move to Everton in January.

Manchester United were sent crashing out of the Champions League last night, with Spanish side Sevilla doing the damage at Old Trafford. Two goals from substitute Wissam Ben Yedder sent United on their way and fans were left frustrated at their side’s negative and reactive tactics. United were dominated in midfield, with Steven N’Zonzi in fine form.

His performance would have been hard to take for Everton fans. In January it certainly looked as though the Frenchman was on his way to Goodison Park. The Liverpool Echo reported that Everton were keen, with the player valued at £25 million.

SEVILLE, SPAIN – AUGUST 22: Steven N’Zonzi of Sevilla FC reacts during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs round second leg match between Sevilla FC and Istanbul Basaksehir F.K. at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on August 22, 2017 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Toward the end of December Everton manager Sam Allardyce made his interest in the midfielder clear, being quoted by the Daily Mail as stating:

“I’d be very interested in Steven but if you have a look at how many footballers there are at the club, then it is impossible for me to block that up even more.

“We would be better served in other areas – like another goalscorer, maybe a full-back. After that who knows.”

It seemed that Everton’s litany of midfield options put paid to any actual deal. Allardyce, who had tried calling N’Zonzi up for England duty and first brought him to England with Blackburn Rovers, was clearly a fan. But unless Morgan Schneiderlin or another midfielder moved on a deal was off the cards for the player.

NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM, SEPTEMBER 22: Robert Earnshaw of Nottingham Forest competes for the ball with Steven N’Zonzi of Blackburn Rovers during the Carling Cup third round match between Nottingham Forest and Blackburn Rovers at The City Ground on September 22, 2009 in Nottingham, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

At the time the French midfielder’s Sevilla career looked over. He had fallen out with manager Eduardo Berizzo and was in danger of being frozen out. When Italian Vincenzo Montella replaced Berizzo, N’Zonzi was back in favour.

Everton therefore never managed to bring in the player in January. Based on the evidence of last night they are clearly missing out. The French international provided the perfect basis for Ever Banega to pull the strings in midfield for Sevilla. N’Zonzi, who also had a successful spell at Stoke City, was composed, athletic and commanding in the midfield.

Everton have struggled to find consistency this season. Much of that has been down to the fluctuating performances of their central midfielders. N’Zonzi would have been an immense January arrival for the Toffees.

Allardyce is a massive fan, but his future at Everton looks to be on the ropes itself. Any dream Everton have of bringing in N’Zonzi looks to be dead. After watching him dominate United last night, that is a bitter pill to swallow.

Mathew Nash

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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