Ramiro Funes Mori joined Everton during Roberto Martinez’s final summer with the club in 2015, for a fee of £9.5 million. The relatively unknown Argentine joined the club late into the window following the releases of centre backs Antolin Alcaraz and Sylvain Distin but has since proved to be rather unreliable.
During his debut season, Mori found himself among Martinez’s starting lineup more than he’d perhaps hoped for. An injury sustained by skipper Phil Jagielka saw the Englishman sidelined, with Mori pairing alongside John Stones for large parts of the campaign.
He played 28 times in the Premier League last season in a woefully poor defensive setup which conceded 55 times over the season. Now, under new management, he has found himself as a squad player with Jagielka and summer signing Ashley Williams as Ronald Koeman’s preferred centre-back partnership.
As a consequence, the 25-year-old has admitted he may look to move on when asked about his lack of playing time. He also explained he has a place in Argentina’s squad based on play. With a squad already thin in the central defence department, the Dutchman can’t really afford to lose Mori, unless replacements are ready and lined up.
Jagielka, 34, has encountered injury problems over recent seasons with Mori the only suitable back-up option. Mason Holgate is also capable of doing a job, as seen earlier in the season, though he was part of a back three and Koeman sees him as more of a right-back option.
Other back-ups, such as Matthew Pennington and Tyias Browning, who have impressed with the first team are also both out through injury from lengthy lay-offs. As the defensive options look thin, it is very unlikely Koeman will revert to a ‘three at the back’ formation with Mori left – his most comfortable – with such little back-up.
With Farhad Moshiri again offering money to spend, he could look to strengthen further during the January transfer window. So, here’s three options Koeman & Co. could explore during January: