Everton are reportedly interested in securing the signing of AFC Bournemouth defender Lloyd Kelly, who is also a target for Newcastle and West Ham United.

According to a report from the print edition of the Sunday Mirror, as relayed by Goodison News, Everton are the latest Premier League club to show an interest in Bournemouth defensive mainstay Lloyd Kelly.

The 23-year-old has been with the Cherries since 2019 when he arrived from boyhood club Bristol City. Injuries blighted his debut season at the Vitality Stadium. He featured just eight times in the Premier League as Bournemouth got relegated. Since then, Kelly has been a mainstay at the back for the South Coast club, racking up 71 appearances in total so far.

Having been a key part of the team that made it to the playoffs last season, Kelly has played a pivotal role in Bournemouth’s rise to the top of the Championship table this season. His growth over the past eighteen months has earned him admirers in the Premier League as West Ham United and Newcastle United have shown an interest in signing him, with Everton also now joining in.

The Toffees seem to be revamping their backline somewhat, having signed two new full-backs in the form of Nathan Patterson and Vitaliy Mykonlenko, with a new centre-back also on manager Rafael Benitez’s radar, amid uncertainties over the future of Mason Holgate and Yerry Mina.

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A move for someone like Kelly, who is still young but has shown great maturity and leadership, could, thus, make sense for the Toffees in January, although there are more pressing concerns for Benitez to address. Furthermore, they will have to contend with competition from both West Ham and Newcastle for his signing.

West Ham’s need for defensive reinforcements stems from their injury issues at the back. Angelo Ogbonna’s season came to a premature end after he suffered an ACL injury. Kurt Zouma is struggling with a hamstring issue, leaving David Moyes with just Craig Dawson and Issa Diop as the only senior centre-backs. Kelly, to that end, has emerged as a viable option to bolster their defensive unit for the second half of the season.

Newcastle United, meanwhile, have struggled this season, having conceded a whopping 42 goals in the Premier League already. None of the defenders at Eddie Howe’s disposal have performed consistently enough, which has left them scouring the market for reinforcements. Sven Botman is a top priority for the Magpies, but someone like Kelly, who has worked with Howe in the past and is proven in English football, can be a good option as well.

Given that Kelly is the club captain at Bournemouth now that Steve Cook has departed, the Cherries are unlikely to want to part ways with him, especially with promotion in sight. However, an attractive financial package could compel them into reconsidering their stance. Whether Everton, Newcastle or West Ham come up with an offer for the 23-year-old remains to be seen.

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