Former Premier League goalkeeper Paul Robinson has stated Everton must improve at the heart of their defence following a dire display by one player in their Carabao Cup defeat on Tuesday night.
The Toffees suffered defeat to Championship side Queens Park Rangers in the week, and this has highlighted a major defensive problem according to Robinson.
The game saw centre-half Mason Holgate give the ball away 17 times in total, and Robinson seemingly has no faith in the 24-year-old’s abilities.
“Mason Holgate has been indifferent since the season before last,” he told Football Insider.
As such, the pundit reckons the Merseysiders requires a change in the position if they’e to challenge for Europe.
“For Everton to reach the level they aspire to be at they need a right-back and a centre-half. I was surprised they didn’t strengthen in those two positions in the window to be honest,” he said.
“They did not invest heavily in the window and I think they will regret not signing a centre-half. It might be something they address in January.”
While there are four recognised centre-backs with Premier League experience in the current Everton squad, it seems a natural partnership is something that eludes them.
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Constantantly altering their defensive pairing may also be something that hinders Everton too. Indeed, Ben Godfrey was afforded a chance playing alongside Holgate against QPR.
However, in the weekend’s Premier League game against Aston Villa, the former played right-back, with Michael Keane and Yerry Mina at the heart of the defence.
Time for change in January?
Everton boss Rafa Benitez is said to be keen to bring in a centre-back, to shore up his defence in the January transfer window.
AC Milan’s Alessio Romagnoli is said to be his favoured target. Indeed, the Italy international recently refused to sign a new contract in Milan. And that may prove the factor that sees a move away pushed over the line.
However, there remains strong competition. Serie A giants Juventus are also said to be keen to bring the defender on board. Bitter rivals Inter Milan are also said to be looking at a free transfer.
However, the Toffees are apparently “planning to present an offer to the Rossoneri as early as January”. To that end, they have an advantage, given the Serie A pair must wait until the summer to begin negotiations.