Caption: Martinez has expressed an interest in Ranocchia
This season, Everton have set out to prove the doubters wrong and bounce back after a poor campaign last time out. They looked especially well equipped in their emphatic win over Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium, but then lost at home a week later, albeit to a very strong Manchester City side.
Something that could be causing upset behind the scenes is the transfer saga surrounding John Stones, and Chelsea’s continued pursuit of the player. Roberto Martinez has said that they don’t want to sell the player, but it is believed that if the price is right then the deal will go ahead.
According to reports, his replacement may well be the seasoned Italian defender, Andrea Ranocchia. Ranocchia currently captains Serie A side Inter Milan, but it is understood that the club are open to offers. Although Everton already have a very promising talent in Stones, it may be wise for them to take the big pay out from Chelsea and replace him with a more experienced player. Ranocchia and Phil Jagielka, would be a rock solid pairing. And with Leighton Baines out injured for the foreseeable future, Everton are in need of some well qualified stalwarts at the back.
Ranocchia joined Inter in the 2010/11 season, and made his debut for the club in January 2011. They finished second in the league that campaign, and won the 2010/11 Copa Italia. When Javier Zanetti retired, Ranocchia was the obvious candidate to take over, because of his strong leadership skills. In his 119 appearances for Inter, he chipped in with seven goals and his aerial ability makes him a danger in set pieces.
Ranocchia is a strong, physical centre-back whose technique, timing and tactical knowledge would suit the Premier League perfectly and he could be an excellent acquisition for The Toffees. At the time of writing betfair have Everton at 3/1 to finish in the top six. Surely, if they managed to capture Ranocchia, it would only would improve their chances of achieving this.