Everton are among a trio of Premier League clubs battling Barcelona for Ajax Amsterdam fullback Noussair Mazraoui in the upcoming summer transfer window.
According to Fichajes, Everton and Aston Villa will battle Barcelona in the pursuit of Ajax Amsterdam right-back Noussair Mazraoui in the summer transfer window.
The 24-year-old came through the ranks at Ajax before making his first-team debut for the Dutch giants in 2016. He has since made 126 appearances for Ajax and has scored ten goals and assisted eight times in that period. An extremely versatile player, Mazraoui can play several roles for the team.
Primarily a right-back, he is adept at both attack and defence and will be an excellent fit for a club that intends to have their fullbacks bomb up and down the flank. He is a capable dribbler and possesses a strong passing range, adding to the attack when needed. The 24-year-old is also a force to be reckoned with in the air and can potentially be seen as a complete package.
Everton are currently looking to rebuild – this time under Frank Lampard. The Chelsea legend’s stint began with a resounding 4-1 win over Brentford in the FA Cup at the weekend. Despite bringing in Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek (on loan) on January deadline day, the Toffees need to invest in the summer to take the next step in their evolution.
Fullbacks have a key role in the modern game, and finding competent ones who are adept at both ends of the pitch is a difficult task. Seamus Coleman is 33 and has lost his usual sharpness, while Jonjoe Kenny has been promising but inconsistent. The Toffees have Nathan Patterson, but the Scot is still far from the finished product. Bringing in an established right-back will certainly speed up Lampard’s rebuild at Goodison Park.
It will not be easy for Everton, with Aston Villa also keeping tabs on the player. Steven Gerrard’s side was one of the busiest teams in the January window and appear to harbour big ambitions for the future. They have already solidified the left-back spot by signing Lucas Digne and are now targeting the other fullback position.
Matty Cash is the club’s lone senior right-back, and the position must be further strengthened both in terms of quality and quantity. Mazraoui certainly fits the profile of players that the Villans are looking for and could be an excellent fit for Gerrard’s all-action system.
The Dutchman’s performances have also earned him the attention of Barcelona. Dani Alves is not getting any younger, while Sergino Dest’s future at the club appears to be far from secure. Several players have made the move between Ajax and the Catalan giants over the years, and it remains to be seen if Mazraoui will join the list. The Dutch giants seem amenable to an exchange with Barcelona that will see Dest return to Ajax. At the very least, it will eliminate the need for ten Hag’s side to look for replacements.
Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City are also in the fray, but their level of interest is unclear. Mazraoui’s departure from Ajax appears set in stone, and where he ends up next season remains to be seen.