Everton interested in signing 29-year-old Inter Milan star – Should Benitez go ahead?

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Everton eyeing Stefan de Vrij move

According to Italian outlet Tuttosport (h/t Liverpool Echo), Everton are interested in signing Inter Milan defender, Stefan de Vrij. The player’s agent, Mino Raiola, has ‘sounded out’ interest from the Merseysiders, but Inter may not be fully keen to let the Netherlands international go after already selling Achraf Hakimi to PSG.

The report adds that a significant offer from the Toffees could make I Nerazzurri consider making a profit on de Vrij consider he arrived on a free transfer in 2018. Coming through the academy at Feyenoord, de Vrij made his impression at Lazio before his move to Inter. But should Rafael Benitez be the man to bring the 29-year-old to the Premier League for the first time?

The centre-back situation at the club

Everton aren’t necessarily short of names in their defence. 28-year-old Michael Keane, relatively young English duo of Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate and Colombian defender, Yerry Mina, are all options at Benitez’s disposal this season. But still, one can’t help but feel that the Blues could use a solid centre-back in their defensive line.

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Stefan de Vrij of Inter Milan is on the transfer radar of Everton. (GETTY Images)

24-year-old Holgate, after all, started his career out as a right-back before being played as a centre-back, especially under Carlo Ancelotti. In fact, he played on the right side of the defence for the majority of last season as well. Godfrey and Keane, on the other hand, are a reliable duo. The former Burnley man has been a mainstay in Everton’s defence since his move from Turf Moor 4 years ago.

As for Godfrey, he enjoyed an impressive season under Ancelotti last time out as he completed his transfer from the then-relegated Norwich City. Mina, on the other hand, faces a dicey future at Goodison Park. The 26-year-old former Barcelona defender could be playing his football away from Everton next season.

That is according to a report by The Telegraph (Subscription Required) around a fortnight ago, where Mina’s name was mentioned alongside 5 other Everton players that could be sold this summer if the club receives an acceptable offer. If that’s the case, Everton would be smart to get in an experienced defender in his place.

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de Vrij in action for Inter Milan. (GETTY Images)

Everton can use de Vrij

Even if he stays, a defender like Stefan de Vrij can only add depth and quality to Everton’s defence. The Dutch defender was a regular fixture in Inter Milan’s Scudetto-winning side last season under Antonio Conte. His pedigree has been evident during his time at Inter, Lazio, Feyenoord, as well as the Netherlands national team. Moreover, at 29, he is at a pretty good age for a defender.

By that time, any centre-back has had considerable experience and has arguably reached their peak, with a number of years still ahead of them. de Vrij, if signed by the Spanish manager, would become the oldest centre-back in Everton’s entire backline. With 396 senior appearances in his career and 49 caps for his national team, his defensive savoir faire would be a boon for any team.

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He is also on a contract that expires in 2023, which means Inter might not be in the strongest possible position if negotiations open for the player. If the Dutchman doesn’t renew until next summer, the Italian side could then risk losing him on a cut-price transfer, which is hardly an ideal situation for any club. And so, for his experience, and the depth and quality he will add to their backline, Everton should try to get a deal for de Vrij across the line this summer.

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