Everton are reportedly interested in signing Roma defender Chris Smalling in the summer and the centre-back could be a big upgrade on Conor Coady in Sean Dyche’s side.
Could Everton sign Chris Smalling?
According to 90min, a number of Premier League clubs including the Toffees, Fulham, Leicester and West Ham are all keen on bringing in the former Manchester United man following his impressive performances in Italy.
The 33-year-old made the move to Roma, initially on loan in 2019, and has seen his career revived after a string of superb displays for I Giallorossi, with media personality Imoh Umoren dubbing him “one of the best defenders in the world on current form” in 2022.
His contract at Stadio Olimpico is currently set to expire at the end of the season, although the Serie A side do have the option to extend it by another year, something which the defender is clearly keen to do.
He said: “I am very confident [about staying]…I have an option to renew for one year but I hope to stay for more seasons.”
Would Smalling be an upgrade on Coady at Goodison Park?
Despite being 33, Smalling remains a hugely important member of Jose Mourinho’s squad at Roma. This season has seen the experienced defender make 23 appearances in Serie A, in which he has contributed three goals and averaged a strong 6.92 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
Would Smalling be an upgrade on Coady?
This ranks him as the fourth-best player in Roma’s squad, so it is perhaps difficult to see Mourinho agreeing to let him leave on a free transfer in the summer.
For comparison, Coady has averaged a disappointing 6.43 rating from WhoScored for his performances in the Premier League, which ranks him as the 15th-best performer in Dyche’s squad.
The Wolves loanee has also averaged far fewer aerials won (1.1 vs 2.1), interceptions (0.6 vs 1.5) and clearances (3.7 vs 4.2) when compared to Smalling, despite the latter playing in a side who are doing far less defending than Everton are forced to do at the moment.
Recent sources have suggested that the Toffees will make Coady’s loan stay a permanent one but if they want to avoid another relegation battle again next season, provided they even remain in the Premier League, then Dyche surely needs to be looking for upgrades at the back.
Smalling’s experience and aerial ability mark him out as an ideal Dyche player and if the 6 foot 4 defender could be convinced to swap Rome for Merseyside this summer, then the statistics suggest he could be a far better option at the back than Coady.