Forget Zaha: Rafa could seal Everton masterclass by signing “scary” £60m beast – opinion

Forget Zaha: Rafa could seal Everton masterclass by signing “scary” £60m beast – opinion

Everton’s recruitment under Rafa Benitez will look no different to the managers who have sat in the Goodison Park dugout before him.

The Toffees have spent big in recent years and the board have already promised their new head coach funds to spend.

Mega-money moves have been lined up but whether any deals can be concluded in an inflated market remains to be seen.

Everton are hoping to pip Arsenal to the signing of Ben White while Wilfried Zaha is on their radar again.

They’ve been chasing the Crystal Palace forward for a number of years now and had a remarkable bid of £70m plus Cenk Tosun and James McCarthy rejected back in 2019.

Benitez could return for the Ivorian this summer and he may cost them just £40m.

Zaha has two years left remaining on his contract at Selhurst Park and at the age of 28, he’s now in his prime.

A dazzling dribbler with the ability to frighten opponents to death, he’d be an exceptional pick up for a team in need of more dynamism in the final third.

Moving to a bigger club has been on the cards for a while now and after rediscovering his best form last term, that switch would be deserved.

Zaha found the net on 11 occasions in 2020/21 but are there better options elsewhere; potentially ones with less ego and baggage?

Everton were linked with a move for Newcastle speedster Allan Saint-Maximin this week in a deal that could cost them in the region of £60m.

That’s significantly more than Zaha’s current price tag but he has been electrifying for the Magpies since arriving from French football, being described as “scary” by Steve Bruce.

The pair are incredibly similar footballers and although the Palace dynamo was involved in a higher volume of goals last term, it was Saint-Maximin who scared defenders more.

Both are renowned for their ability to beat a marker but it was the Newcastle forward who came out on top in dribbles per game last season. Saint-Maximin recorded a whopping 3.8 – the second-best tally in the division – compared to Zaha who managed 1.8.

Meanwhile, per stats provided by FB Ref, the £60m speed demon is a more creative outlet.

His expected assists over the last year rank him in the 91st percentile for players in the same position throughout the Premier League. Zaha, however, is ranked in the 49th percentile for that statistic.

To supplement that, his number of progressive passes is also more impressive with the Frenchman sitting in the 89th percentile compared to the Palace attacker’s 82nd percentile.

Combine that with the fact that Saint-Maximin still has plenty of room to grow and he suddenly becomes the more sensible signing right now. It would be a masterclass to bring someone with such eye-catching abilities to Goodison Park.

AND in other news, Everton may repeat their Walcott howler by signing £30m gem who Rafa compared to Messi…