Everton making moves to trump rivals for in-demand Championship defender

Date published: Sunday 24th October 2021 10:00 - Neil Foster

Harry Souttar Stoke City 2021 TEAMtalk1

Everton are continuing to closely monitor the progress of Harry Souttar with a view to signing the giant Stoke City defender.

The 23-year-old continues to turn heads with his displays for the Championship club. He moved to the bet365 Stadium from Dundee United in the summer of 2016. However it took time for the 6ft 6in star to establish himself in the Potters first team.

The Aberdeen-born ace was loaned to Scottish outfit Ross County for the second half of 2017-2018. And he was jettisoned midway through the following campaign as well, penning a six-month deal with Fleetwood Town.

The Australia international then returned to Highbury Stadium the following season, making 34 League One appearances. And he was finally given an opportunity in the Potteries last term, starting 38 second-tier matches.

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His imposing displays at the heart of defence caught the eye of several Premier League clubs. Everton were among them but Wolves, West Ham United, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace were also mentioned as possible suitors.

Earlier this month Tottenham were added to the growing list of clubs keen on the stopper. Stoke boss Michael O’Neill realises that Souttar’s form will see him linked to bigger clubs.

And with that in mind, the centre-back signed a new long-term deal in February this year.

O’Neill recently told StokeonTrentLive: “Harry has had a very strong start to the season.

“He’s obviously playing senior international football and appears to have established himself in the Australia national team. That will obviously generate interest.”

Souttar the ‘new’ Maguire

Souttar’s physicality and stature has seen him likened to Manchester United and England defender Harry Maguire. But even the Red Devils star cannot match his Stoke counterpart for international goals.

Maguire has bagged five from 39 England appearances while Souttar has notched six from just eight outings for the Socceroos. Duncan Ferguson recently scouted the youngster himself and the Toffees watched the Aussie in action last week, accoring to The Sun.

Rafa Benitez has doubts over Yerry Mina’s future at the club and could be seeking a long-term replacement. The Colombia international is said to be keen on a move to Inter Milan.

Yerry Mina Dominic Calvert-Lewin Everton August 2021

He is currently out of action with a thigh muscle injury and missed Saturday’s 5-2 drubbing at the hands of Watford. That left Everton eighth in the table having taken just one point from their last three games.

READ MORE: Benitez plans ‘absurd’ Everton move to bring former Arsenal ace back to England

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