Everton are reportedly interested in Olympiacos central defensive powerhouse Pape Abou Cisse, as Frank Lampard looks to make significant signings to elevate the squad quality.
According to Sportime journalist Giannis Chorianopoulos, Everton are apparently keen on signing Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse in the current summer transfer window.
Everton had a terrible 2021/22 season where they narrowly managed to escape relegation, and one of the reasons for that was their fragile defensive unit. To that end, the Toffees have been linked to a number of central defenders and have already finalised the free transfer of James Tarkowski from Burnley, but an announcement remains pending.
Tarkowski’s impending arrival guarantees that Everton will have an astute figure in their rearguard who will bring leadership, aerial prowess, robustness and defensive organisation with him. After Tarkowski’s acquisition, manager Frank Lampard has now set his sights on Senegalese central defender Pape Abou Cisse.
Cisse can be classified as one of those underrated defenders who flew under the radars of top European clubs in the recent past. The 26-year-old was one of the cornerstones of the Olympiacos defence that only conceded 14 goals in 26 games in the last campaign.
Cisse was linked to a slew of Premier League clubs in the January transfer window, including Arsenal, Newcastle, Leicester, and Liverpool, following some strong showings in the Africa Cup of Nations, but nothing came of it.
The 26-year-old has had brief spells in France with Saint-Etienne and Ajaccio but has been by far the best performing defender in Greece for a number of seasons now, having first arrived in 2017. To date, he has made 132 appearances for the Greek Super League champions, chipping in with 16 goals along the way.
Contracted until the summer of 2024 at Karaiskakis Stadium, this summer window appears to be the right time for all parties involved to part ways, as Olympiacos would be able to recoup good value while the player would be ready to take the next step in his career.
It is no wonder that the highly-rated defender is under the watch of Brighton & Hove Albion, who have a reputation for identifying and nurturing under-valued talents. As such, Cisse is valued at around £15 million by Olympiacos, with Everton now joining the competition for the Senegalese tough-tackler.
There is no shortage of centre-backs at Goodison Park, with Yerry Mina, Michael Keane, and Ben Godfrey all being capable defenders on their day. However, those days were few and far between last term, while Jarrad Branthwaite is still an inexperienced option. So signing someone like Cisse, who has been a reliable force during big European matches for Olympiacos, makes perfect sense.
Standing at 6ft 6in, the African ace is an absolute beast in the air, whereas his tactical awareness and no-nonsense approach have been hallmarks of his game. He may not be the quickest of defenders, but he makes up for it with his game-reading, well-timed tackles, and positional sense. However, given the delicate financial situation, everton will first have to sell before heading out in the market and buy one.