Carlo Ancelotti can end the Goodison Park career of Everton product Tom Davies with a swoop for Atalanta BC’s lethal and highly sought-after midfield goal machine Ruslan Malinovskyi.
What’s the word?
According to Calciomercato, Ancelotti is eagerly scouting the Italian market for midfield reinforcements ahead of the winter market and has set his eyes on the potential availability of Malinovskyi following his stellar form with his Serie A side Atalanta.
Malinovskyi has torn up the Italian scene since moving to the Gewiss Stadium in 2019 for €13.7million (£12.2m), with the 27-year-old boasting nine goals and nine assists across all competitions, including a hand in 13 top-flight efforts last term.
The Ukraine star is yet to strike home his first of the current campaign, having started three of seven appearances, but penned his sixth international goal in UEFA Nations League defeat to Germany last month before earning his 32nd-cap at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday.
His form, and ability to play anywhere along the spine of a side, appears to have caught Everton and Leicester City’s attention, though the Premier League duo could face added competition from Inter Milan in Atalanta’s £18.9m-rated gem.
Malinovskyi has previously been a target for Chelsea, Leeds United, West Ham, Fiorentina and SSC Napoli, as well, with Blues legend Claude Makelele leading the Stamford Bridge outfit’s interest having filed a glowing report upon personally scouting the midfielder.
Davies’ Goodison nightmare
Atalanta are unlikely to want to part ways with their star midfielder just a year-and-a-half on from his arrival, so Everton could face a lot of reluctance should their Director of Football Marcel Brands open discussions with the Serie A side.
Ancelotti can deal Davies a grave nightmare by landing Malinovskyi, though, as there will be no doubt in the Ukraine international being an instant upgrade on the Toffees product.
Malinovskyi has never hidden his admiration for the Premier League or dream of one day playing in the English top-flight, stating amid the links with Chelsea last year how he would not rule out leaving the Gewiss Stadium.
“For England, I can say that we played some games there with Atalanta and the atmosphere is wonderful,” he told the Ukrainian FA’s YouTube account via quotes by Football Italia. “I like the Premier League, but it’s not worth talking about it. There are no conditions at the moment.”
But things can change fast, and Malinovskyi’s performances are right to attract an array of suitors, having offered 1.3 shots, 2.0 key balls, 1.7 successful dribbles, 4.0 duels won and 0.9 tackles as a right-sided central midfielder per Serie A game this season, per SofaScore.
His debut campaign with Atalanta last term similarly featured 1.7 shots, 1.4 key balls, 1.7 successful dribbles and 4.2 duels won, showing his initial form was not just a flash in the pan upon his arrival from a 16-goal, 16-assist season with KRC Genk.
Ancelotti acquiring Malinovskyi would be a hammer blow to Davies’ hopes of establishing himself under the Italian, having struggled to break into the Everton line-up this term with just one start from three Premier League appearances and being omitted from one matchday squad.
Davies had only featured for two top-flight minutes before starting at home to Brighton & Hove Albion with Allan out with a groin strain, too, while benched in the EFL Cup win over West Ham having featured for 118 minutes against lower league opposition in the earlier rounds.
The arrival of another midfielder would surely spell the end for Davies at Goodison Park.
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