Everton are reportedly in advanced negotiations to secure the signing of Aurelio Buta following Denzel Dumfries setback.
According to journalist Rudy Galetti on Twitter, Premier League side, Everton, are in advanced negotiations with Belgian giants Antwerp for Aurelio Buta.
The Portuguese right-back came through the youth system at Portuguese giants Benfica, making several appearances for their second team. He was part of the Eagles side that finished runners up in the UEFA Youth League in 2016/17.
Buta was also part of the Portuguese Under-19 side that made it to the semifinals of the European Championships in 2016. He scored twice in the competition and was also named in the team of the tournament. Despite much promise, it is fair to say that the player has not taken his performance to the next level.
The 24-year-old joined Antwerp initially on loan in 2017 before making the deal permanent a year later. He has since made 111 appearances for the Belgians, scoring twice and assisting 21 more. Buta, to his credit, has enjoyed an excellent start to the 2021/22 season and has already made three assists in just four league games so far.
Bringing in a right-back is of utmost importance for Everton this summer. The ageing Seamus Coleman’s contract expires next summer, and it is imperative that a replacement is brought in sooner than later. In Buta, the Toffees will be landing themselves a dynamic player capable of playing anywhere along the right flank.
Rafael Benitez’s side were keen on landing Denzel Dumfries but eventually missed out on the Dutchman to Inter Milan. While Dumfries is the better player on several parameters, Buta has untapped potential that could make him an intelligent acquisition. More so, he has just a year to go on his current deal with Antwerp and could be available in a cut-price deal.
Turning around careers is not new for Benitez. The Spaniard signed an unheralded Alvaro Arbeloa in 2007 during his time at Liverpool and helped him develop into one of the best full-backs in world football. Now back on Merseyside, it remains to be seen if he can repeat the trick with Buta.
The Portuguese full-back’s attacking tendencies could provide the Toffees with the shot in the arm required to amplify their attack. A decent passer of the ball, Buta has an eye for making key passes that could help unlock opposition defences. With Lucas Digne wreaking havoc on the other flank, the 24-year-old could be what Everton need to form a formidable full-back pairing of their own.
Buta will have the luxury of playing alongside better teammates at Goodison Park. Whether this will help him unlock his potential remains to be seen. At 24, he could be on the verge of turning around his career. All he needs is the right move.