Why Arsenal are interested in signing Brazil’s Copa America star Everton and where he could fit into Unai Emery’s side

first_imgUnai Emery has called on Arsenal to strengthen his squad before the transfer window closes (Picture: Getty)There is also the Edu factor with Arsenal’s ‘Invincible’ new Technical Director expected to utilise his contacts to boost Arsenal’s squad with players from Brazil. Edu worked with the 23-year-old during his role as the Brazilian national team’s general manager.It looks likely, therefore, that Arsenal will spring into action in the transfer window following a subdued start to their summer by adding Everton to Emery’s squad next season, but should he indeed make the switch, what kind of player will they be getting?What’s Everton’s background?Gremio have garnered a reputation in Brazil for being experts when it comes to their nationwide scouting and that certainly is the case with Everton who made the 2,360 mile trip to Porto Alegre in the South from Fortaleza in the North East when he was 16.Everton caught the eye of Gremio’s talent watchers while representing Fortaleza in a youth tournament and joined them in 2012, initially on loan before signing permanently in 2013 despite being linked to major European clubs at the time.Francesco Barletta, the head of youth development at Gremio said: ‘We saw his potential. What caught our attention was his speed and his aggression – his ability to decide games. He had a lot of attitude and was good technically.’The following year, he started to gradually be introduced into the first-team, making his Serie A debut against Atletico Paranaese before featuring a further six times and going on to establish himself more prominently the season after. Everton has been linked with a move to Arsenal (Picture: Getty)No transfer rumour in the social media age is complete without a club’s potential target engaging in a bit of covert Instagram activity.So when Brazilian international winger Everton Sousa Soares started following Arsenal’s newest recruit and fellow compatriot Gabriel Martinelli on Instagram after speculation linking him with a move to the Emirates, the club’s fans started to get a touch excited.It could, of course, all be completely innocent, but talk of Everton’s potential move to Arsenal has been steadily bubbling away over the past few days. On Sunday, reports in Brazil stated that Arsenal had held talks with Everton before it was claimed that a £36m deal has been agreed with his club Gremio on Tuesday.AdvertisementAdvertisementConsidering Arsenal have been linked with a host of wingers this summer from Wilfried Zaha to Nicolas Pepe to Malcom, a move for Everton makes a great deal of sense. That he is cheaper than those other targets also stacks up with Unai Emery working with a reduced transfer budget this window.ADVERTISEMENT Oliver Young-MylesThursday 18 Jul 2019 10:01 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link143Shares Everton’s cartoonish features have resulted in him being nicknamed ‘Cebolinha’ or the ‘Little Onion’ in Brazil (Picture: Getty)Everton began to find greater consistency and efficiency in front of goal during the 2017 campaign which coincided with Gremio winning their third Copa Libertadores trophy and first in 22-years against Argentine outfit Lanus. Everton was restricted to just 34 minutes action across the two-legged final, however.After taking a more influential role in Gremio’s side in 2018, Everton earned a call-up to the Brazil squad for the first time in Tite’s first selection since a disappointing World Cup campaign in Russia, making his debut soon after.Despite intense competition for places even after Neymar’s withdrawal from injury, Everton secured a place in Tite’s Copa America squad and emerged as one of Brazil’s most decisive players scoring three times as they won the competition, including in the 3-1 win over Peru in the final.AdvertisementAdvertisementBrazil supporters latched onto Everton throughout the tournament and the chant ‘Cebolinha’ – translated to ‘Little Onion’ – was audible whenever he stepped out onto the pitch. Everton’s nickname Cebolinha was developed due to his physical likeness to a popular cartoon character in Brazil, because why not?Where will he play?Versatility is a trait that Emery certainly values in his players given the Spanish tactician’s propensity to chop and change his systems to counteract the strengths of his opponents. Everton is an adaptable player capable of playing across the front line, but it is from the left flank that he has made his name thus far.That is where he has tended to play for Gremio, although he has also been used a central striker on occasion, and it is also where he played for Brazil at the Copa America when he stepped up to capably fill the void left by Neymar.Although Emery used a variety of formations during his debut season at Arsenal – eight to be exact, according to Whoscored – his most-used formation was a 4-2-3-1 system which would theoretically suit Everton, playing on the left of three support players behind the striker. Edu will be heavily involved in Arsenal’s recruitment moving forward (Picture: Getty)While it may seem an easy and obvious assumption to make that Arsenal are only shopping in Brazil now they have a Brazilian in a prominent recruitment position, it is worth pointing out that the club have barely tapped into that particular market in recent years.The last player that Arsenal signed from Brazil was Wellington Silva back in 2011 and while that deal did not work out due to various work permit issues, the pursuit of Everton is altogether different considering he is a full international and far more established.AdvertisementWith Arsenal operating under tighter financial restrictions and being priced out of moves for the likes of Zaha and Pepe, it actually makes a great deal of sense for the club to step up their scouting in smaller leagues given players are generally far cheaper.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityIs he worth the money?It is impossible to gauge whether or not Everton would be a success at Arsenal as the leap from Brazilian Serie A to the Premier League is a mammoth one that usually has a middle step to a lesser league in between.Nevertheless, as mentioned Arsenal’s financial situation currently dictates their need to take bigger risks in the transfer market by signing players with room to develop rather than buying readymade, established stars who are already out of their price range.There is also a legitimate, age-old concern about purchasing a player off the back of an exceptional international tournament, particularly the Copa America where the disparity between the competing teams is higher than in other competitions. Comment Advertisement Advertisement Why Arsenal are interested in signing Brazil’s Copa America star Everton and where he could fit into Unai Emery’s side Everton has scored nine goals in 19 games for Gremio this season (Picture: Getty)The upside of the move, though, is that £36m (£25m plus £11m in potential add-ons) is cheap in this market for a player who is currently a Brazil regular, has won the most prestigious club and country trophies in South America and who has a high ceiling and potentially massive resale value.Arsenal clearly have greater needs to address in the transfer window such as in defence, but they could benefit from a technically gifted winger with an eye for goal and a track record for delivering in big games on big occasions.It could prove a smart piece of business if the Little Onion can add a layer of quality to Arsenal’s attack next season.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal How Arsenal’s attack could look with Everton (Picture: Metro)As a right-footed player on the left, Everton has a tendency to drift infield onto his stronger side to link play with his fellow forwards, although he is accomplished on his left too meaning he provides a dual-threat out wide.While perhaps not an archetypal Brazilian flair player, Everton does possess neat close control, excellent dribbling skills, a dangerous turn of pace and an element of unpredictability in his play that makes him difficult to stop.AdvertisementEverton also has a heads-down directness to his play, looking to attack whenever he receives the ball which would give Arsenal added impetus in the final third and he is willing to put in a shift defensively, similarly to how Carlos Tevez used to buzz irritatingly around opposition defenders.What was Edu’s role in the deal?According to Brazilian website Globoesporte, Edu sounded out Gremio about a possible move for Everton on Sunday, just five days after he had been appointed Arsenal’s Technical Director.With only three weeks of the English transfer window remaining, Edu and Emery are running out of time to identify and secure potential targets who can strengthen Arsenal’s squad ahead of a pivotal season, which perhaps partly explains why Edu has got his Brazilian contact book out early.Edu’s fingerprints were also over the Martinelli deal as it is unlikely Arsenal would have moved for an unproven 18-year-old forward from an obscure team in Brazil were it not for a recommendation from someone tuned in to the country’s talent pool.last_img

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