Widespread reports suggest Algerian centre-back Ramy Bensebaini is close to joining The Toffees for a fee of around £13.3million. We’ve taken a closer look at the 6’1” Rennes man.
Having impressed in his native country, the 23-year-old was taken on trial by F.C. Porto and Arsenal, playing pre-season friendlies for the latter against Luton Town and Colchester in 2013. He then took two consecutive loan spells to Belgian side Lierse and French outfit Montpellier respectively, before signing a permanent deal with Rennes.
One of the reasons Everton are interested in the centre-back is because he is left-footed, with the majority of the Blues’ current central defenders preferring their right side. Bensebaini could be seen as a replacement for the recently-departed Ramiro Funes Mori, who stands at the same height as his prospective successor as well as also being left-footed. Bensebaini seems less erratic than the Argentine, and more disciplined.
Bensebaini made 25 league appearances last season, failing to register on the scoresheet but winning 57% of his duels according to Squawka, and receiving six bookings. He managed to create seven chances from defence, and only made two defensive errors throughout the campaign. He is impressive with the ball at his feet, as is required of a modern centre-back, and comfortably carries the ball forward from the back looking to get his team on the front foot. This unflappable nature on the ball is undoubtedly one of the major reasons why he has been credited with Everton’s interest.
Recent reports appear increasingly confident that the centre-back will become Marco Silva’s first signing for Everton, and it seems he will be a straight swap for Funes Mori, perhaps on lower wages as Everton prioritise making their wage bill more efficient this summer whilst replacing departing players with better ones.