Everton keeping tabs on AS Roma midfielder Gonzalo Villar who does not appear to be in new manager Jose Mourinho’s plans for the club
According to Fichajes, Merseyside giants Everton are interested in securing the services of AS Roma midfielder Gonzalo Villar.
The 23-year-old joined the Italian giants from the Spanish side Elche in 2020, and has made 60 appearances for the club since. Notably, 58 of these have come under former boss Paulo Fonseca who was replaced by Jose Mourinho earlier this summer. The Portuguese legend does not value Villar the same way and has used him sparing this season.
So far, the Spanish international has been limited to just two appearances off the bench, totalling 69 minutes on the pitch. Whether Mourinho has already made up his mind on the player or is just testing out all the options at his disposal remains to be seen. The 58-year-old is a rather opinionated manager who has his favourites and is not afraid to give his preferred players a leg up when needed.
A stark example of this is the way he treated Luke Shaw and Tanguy Ndombele at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, respectively. The former’s case is extremely noteworthy given the success he has had at Old Trafford following Mourinho’s sacking.
The last year and a half have been beneficial to Villar’s development as a player, even earning him a senior call up to the Spanish national side in 2021. Being relegated would be akin to taking a step back in his development.
Everton appear keen on the player and could offer him a way out. The Toffees are short in the central midfield department and would welcome additions. In Villar, they can land themselves a player young enough to be considered a prospect but experienced enough to be thrown in at the far end.
Everton have lost several key players in recent windows. Gylfi Sigurdsson failed to make the cut for this season’s squad, while James Rodriguez departed Goodison Park for Qatari side Al-Rayyan. The duo of Tom Davies and Andre Gomes are inconsistent and do not inspire confidence as a first choice centre-midfield pairing.
Moreover, both Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s struggle with injuries have further limited Rafael Benitez’s options in the middle of the park. This is where Villar comes in. The 23-year-old is an excellent passer of the ball, and his ability to dribble past opponents will give Everton a new avenue in the attack. Benitez picked up obscure talents from Spain during his time with Liverpool and could do the same with Villar at Goodison.
Everton will, however, face competition from the Italian side Napoli. Luciano Spalletti is keen on the player and could push to beat Everton to his signature. Villar’s proven talent in Serie A could fit in like a glove at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. With finances at a premium, just what resources Benitez will have at his disposal to land Villar remains to be seen. He will, at the very least, be an intriguing addition to the Toffees squad.