An Everton target Chelsea have plans to include in a separate swap deal is a “level above” what the Toffees have, though won’t be the “game-changer” Frank Lampard hopes for, per one observer.
Everton lost five of their last seven to leave them just a point outside of the relegation zone heading into the World Cup.
The Toffees have been resolute at the back, with only three teams having conceded fewer than their 17 goals shipped thus far (Arsenal, Newcastle and Man City).
Their issues have come at the other end. Indeed, their 11 goals scored is the joint-second fewest along with Nottingham Forest. Only Wolves – who sit dead last – have found the net less frequently.
Lampard will hope for a strong second half of the season from Dominic Calvert-Lewin. However, the oft-injured striker relies on stellar service and shouldn’t be the club’s sole hope in front of goal.
One such player in midfield who’s been linked with bolstering the club’s ranks in January is Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Aged 26, the time is now for Loftus-Cheek to get regular minutes – something he’s never truly done at Stamford Bridge.
Everton eyeing Loftus-Cheek, as Chelsea mull swap proposal
The dynamic midfielder can operate in a variety of midfield roles and is well known to Lampard through his time at Chelsea.
Loftus-Cheek’s contract expires in 2024 and journalist Simon Phillips claimed he’s one player the Blues are seeking a resolution for one way or another in 2023.
He put Everton in the mix for a January deal, though Chelsea may have other ideas in mind. Indeed, Italian outlet Calciomercato reported Loftus-Cheek could be used as bait to lure Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic the other way.
Regardless, according to former Premier League striker Noel Whelan, Everton wouldn’t be landing a game0changer if they did land RLC.
Whelan reckons he’d be an upgrade on what they current possess, though highlighted two other positions that should be of a more pressing concern than central midfield.
Other areas of greater concern?
“I think this would be a case of just reinforcing that Everton squad,” said Whelan (via Football Insider)
“He’s not a game-changer. He’s not a number nine, or a number ten – positions they need to improve.
“He’s a quality player at a good age, but he would just be a figure who can drive forward with the ball and use that physical frame.
“But he certainly wouldn’t change the fortunes of that forward line.
“He’ll give them stability and consistency in midfield, which they need.
“He’s a level above what they have at the moment.”