According to reports from the Mirror, Tottenham are ready to reignite their interest in Everton’s Kevin Mirallas, with the London outfit preparing a bid of around £7million in an attempt to secure his signature. This follows on from the club’s previous interest in the Belgian international, who has just one year remaining on his contract at Goodison.
Mirallas experienced a turbulent 2014/15 season at Goodison Park, in which he ultimately failed to hit top gear. Despite scoring seven goals in 29 appearances, off-field problems – particularly surrounding his long-term future at the club – seemed to distract the 28-year-old throughout the league campaign.
After the Merseyside outfit completed the signing of Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu earlier in the week, Mauricio Pochettino’s Lilywhites are under the impression that Everton could finally be willing to part ways with the unsettled winger. Furthermore, with just a year left before the expiration of his current deal, the Toffees would be wise to cash-in while they still can.
In that case, what does he have to offer Tottenham?
A pacey customer, who loves to cut inside and let fly at the opposition goal, Mirallas would provide Spurs with a much-needed burst of direct, attacking flair, with the end product to match – the latter of which, former Roma midfielder Erik Lamela has failed to offer since his big-money move from the Italian Serie A.
The Belgian converted 19.4% of his total attempts at goal last term, while fashioning 18 chances (including one assist) and finding success in 40% of his take ons. While Lamela enjoyed his best season at White Hart Lane – during which he fashioned 60 key passes and completed 54% of his dribbles – he was still only able to score on two occasions. However, he did assist seven goals.
Clearly the two wingers excel in alternative areas. Nonetheless, one gets the feeling that, had Mirallas been supplying to a certain Harry Kane – who last season experienced the form of his career to date – his final figures would have been considerably more impressive. Instead, the midfielder played a bit-part role in an Everton side that struggled for form until the last few weeks of the campaign.
Could this deal impact the long-term future of Aaron Lennon?
This is a deal that could see Spurs midfielder Aaron Lennon head in the other direction. The Englishman enjoyed a fruitful loan spell at Goodison throughout the latter half of the season – scoring two goals in 14 appearances – and the general consensus among Toffees fans is that he would be a suitable addition to the club’s attacking arsenal.
The Mirror’s report suggests a slightly more complicated outcome. Spurs are expected to lodge a straight cash deal (no swap included) for Mirallas, which would leave the Toffees needing to make a separate bid for Lennon’s services. However, there is good news for fans of the former Leeds winger, as he is allegedly keen on a return to Merseyside before the end of the current window.[interaction id=”558e6eee17ada36c53518f91"] [s[separator type=”thin”]p>
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Keanan Bennetts has perfect opportunity to impress Mauricio Pochettino this week
The left-sided star has a chance to impress in first-team training during the international break.
With the international week in full flow, plenty of teams in the Premier League have seen their squads diminished by call-ups to national teams.
Tottenham Hotspur are one such side. Nonetheless, with most of the first-team squad away with their respective nations, work continues at Hotspur Way.
In order for Spurs to have a full complement in training, plenty of young talent needs to be pulled in to the ranks.
Mauricio Pochettino will, therefore,e get a chance to see some of his young players training with regular first-team players such as Fernando Llorente, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.
One player who will be training with the first-team this week is talented wide-man Keanan Bennetts, according to London Live.
The 19-year-old left-winger has been catching the eye for the club’s youth team in recent weeks, making the news after scoring a fantastic goal for the under-19s against Monaco in the UEFA Youth League last month.
Bennetts has also been attracting interest for his positional dexterity. The wide-man has played at left-back in recent times and it could be that is his future best position.
This week he will be up against some excellent players such as Lamela and Moura, who did not receive selection to the Argentina and Brazil national teams, respectively.
If he can prove himself with this calibre of player, Pochettino will have to take notice.
It is coming to a point in his Tottenham career when Bennetts has to make such an impact. The teenager is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and needs to ensure he is kept on for at least one more season.
Tottenham fans who follow the youth teams are certain he is deserving of such a chance. If he can show Pochettino what he is capable of this week, then a new deal will surely be in the pipeline for the talented wide-man.
Despite improvement, Everton should not rekindle Thomas Vermaelen interest
The Belgian defender has been in better form for Barcelona this season.
Rumours have emerged today suggesting Everton could be back in for Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen.
Catalan newspaper Sport has reported that the 32-year-old could be offered a new deal by Barcelona, with a team from the Premier League interested in signing him.
Sport Witness has openly hypothesised that Everton could be that team. Whilst there is no confirmation or substantiated report that is the case, the boot certainly fits.
Last summer Everton tried to sign Vermaelen.
As reported by the Liverpool Echo, at the time Barcelona vetoed a loan move to Everton as they felt the defender could be a useful asset.
The Belgian certainly has. After struggling with injuries and form throughout most of his Barcelona tenure the former Arsenal man has enjoyed a good season.
The 32-year-old has been a genuine asset to the Catalans, despite still being used sparingly, and such form has even seen him win back a place in Roberto Martinez’s national selection for Belgium.
If it is Everton interested in Vermaelen it is easy to see why. Centre-back has been a major problem for the club this season.
However, Vermaelen, or a player of his ilk, is not the answer to the Toffees’ woes.
The Belgian is obviously a talented player with plenty of experience, but Everton need to freshen up their back-line.
Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka’s age has shown in recent months.
The pair have been, at the best, inconsistent for the past 18 months and Everton need fresh young talent in the heart of defence if they are to succeed.
Vermaelen is not only 32 but also immensely injury prone. Everton need reliable figures to plug their leaky defences and the Belgian can simply not be relied upon.
Whilst on paper it seems a good deal, and one Everton could certainly turn to their benefit.
The truth is supporters of the Goodison Park outfit will hope they are not the club reportedly keen on bringing Vermaelen back to the Premier League.
Have West Ham United found the next Mark Noble in Alfie Lewis?
The 18-year-old put in a fine performance against Dagenham and Redbridge this week.
West Ham United took on Dagenham and Redbridge in a friendly yesterday, in a match to raise funds for the National League side.
It was no surprise to see West Ham come out victorious. They won 3-1, with Michail Antonio at the double and Jordan Hugill scoring his first goal for the club.
It was, however, a Hammers team depleted by international selection.
With that in mind, David Moyes’ side fielded some of their younger players. Plenty of them caught the eye, but none more so than central midfielder Alfie Lewis.
The 18-year-old put in a fine display for 90 minutes which left West Ham fans very excited on social media.
It was an even more special achievement given Lewis spent most of last year on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
Lewis himself told the official West Ham website after the game: “I’m delighted.
“It was a good experience for me tonight, to play with the likes of Patrice Evra, and Mark Noble in midfield. It was a good challenge and a good test for us as well, and I think I did well.”
He spoke of it being an honour playing alongside Mark Noble, but is he the successor to the throne?
Whilst Noble has had his critics in recent times there is no doubt he has been a long-term hero at West Ham.
Fans of the club have often wondered why Noble has never received England recognition given his consistent form in the Premier League.
Noble has gone on to play over 400 games for West Ham since his debut for the club back in 2004.
Lewis certainly has the ability to follow in his footsteps. An energetic midfield creator, West Ham look to have another midfield gem in their ranks and one that can hopefully progress into the first-team soon.
The Hammers have a fine record of bringing through young players.
Noble is one current example and Lewis could not be at a better club if he is to find his way into the West Ham first-team.
This season, with a relegation battle raging, might come a little too soon for the teenager.
Nonetheless, in 2018-19 it will not be a surprise if Lewis finds himself playing alongside Noble in the West Ham midfield once again.
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