This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Everton are reportedly eyeing Stoke City defender Harry Souttar after an impressive start to the 2021/22 campaign.
The Stoke Sentinel has reported that the Toffees are keen on Souttar but face competition from Tottenham.
So, would he be a good signing for Everton? And do they need him?
Our FLW writers share their thoughts…
Everton are pretty stacked in central defence as it is and therefore bringing in Harry Souttar would likely push someone else out the door. Given the Toffees’ sensible business on the cheap this summer it feels unlikely they will splash out on Souttar.
In Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, Mason Holgate, Ben Godfrey, and Jarrad Branthwaite there is a lot of potential for defensive improvement.
With Godfrey often used as a full-back there is room for Souttar but they could be priced out of a deal.
The Toffees currently have the third-best defensive record in the Premier League after seven games and therefore the early signs do not point towards them needing to go and buy a centre-back in January.
Unless there is a significant push from the player to get a deal done I do not see this one materialising.
23 questions about some of Stoke City’s best ever academy graduates – Can you score full marks?
He would be a good replacement for Yerry Mina, but it may take him a while to adapt to the Championship so the Toffees should treat the Australian as a long-term project.
At 22, he will only improve further and would be a great threat in both boxes that Rafa Benitez could utilise, but throwing him in the starting lineup straight away may prove to be costly for both the centre-back and the Merseyside outfit.
He definitely has the potential to do well in the Premier League though and after spending some time alongside many high-quality defenders in recent years, including Nathan Collins, Leo Ostigard and Ben Wilmot, he will be used to operating alongside very capable centre-halves.
His ability to play in a four or a five at the back can only be a good thing too in the event of a system or managerial change at Goodison Park, so he would be a shrewd long-term acquisition that would provide value for money for the Premier League side.
It’s definitely one Benitez should pursue if Mina departs.
This would be a superb signing for Everton to make and one that could work out very well for the Toffees if they were able to develop Harry Souttar’s game and get him to reach his full potential in the Premier League.
Souttar has been a very consistent performer for Stoke for a while now and he has matured into a reliable performer who is also capable of producing eye-catching moments in defence.
Everton have managed to enjoy success with the signing of a young and talented centre-back in the shape of Ben Godfrey in recent transfer windows and you could see Souttar being a similar level of signing for them.
There is no doubt that Souttar has all of the ingredients you would want in a Premier League defender and eventually his career will take him into the top-flight whether that be with Stoke or elsewhere.
The strength in depth for Everton in the centre-back department for Everton is not the strongest and Souttar is someone that Rafa Benitez would be able to improve for sure if he gets the chance to work with him on the training ground.
It would be exactly the right level of signing that Everton should be aiming for if they were to allow Yerry Mina to leave the club.