New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos has reportedly emerged as a transfer target for Everton boss Rafael Benitez.
According to a report from The Sun, Everton are eyeing a move for Valentin Castellanos. The 23-year-old New York City FC star is one of two strikers Rafael Benitez is currently monitoring as the club looks to shore up its attacking options. The other alternative is Alexis Sanchez, but the veteran forward is unlikely to be a popular choice among the Everton fans.
It appears Benitez is anxious over the long-term futures of his main attackers. Paris Saint-Germain have already reignited their interest in Richarlison, whereas Dominic Calvert-Lewin may soon leave the club as well. Their potential departures from Goodison Park could cause a major void in the attacking unit, which is not exactly ideal given the club’s poor start to life under Benitez.
It has prompted the former Newcastle United boss to consider attacking reinforcements. One of the top targets for Everton is Valentin Castellanos, who is considered as one of the top-performing players in North American club football.
Part of New York City FC since 2018, the striker has netted an impressive 42 goals in just over 100 competitive matches for the club. The 23-year-old was the top scorer in MLS 2021, with his 22 goals overall, including three in the playoffs helping NYCFC secure their maiden MLS Cup title. The Argentine even scored in the final against Portland Timbers, although the game was ultimately won on penalties.
Castellanos’s performances in Major League Soccer have now put Everton on alert. The Toffees, who have already bagged two full-backs in Vitaliy Mykolenko and most recently, Nathan Patterson, believe the 23-year-old has what it takes to become an ideal replacement for Calvert-Lewin.
The Englishman was Everton’s top scorer last season with 16 goals in 33 matches. But his progress has since been marred by injuries. Calvert-Lewin has featured in only four matches this term, and he may soon depart Goodison Park amid interest from Arsenal.
Castellanos, to that end, could be an interesting option. The Argentine striker has enjoyed unbelievable success during his time at NYCFC, but it remains to be seen whether the 23-year-old can make the jump from MLS to the Premier League. With the player reportedly available for just £14 million, it is certainly a risk worth taking for Rafael Benitez and Everton.