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Pros and cons of five defensive targets for Martinez at Everton

| 17.08.2015

Everton, 10/3 with Coral for a top six finish, are likely to face renewed interest from Premier League champions Chelsea in star defender John Stones following their humbling defeat at the Etihad by Manchester City.

With that in mind, our football experts assess the pros and cons of rumoured defensive targets for the Toffees. What will the five names below bring to Roberto Martinez’s men, and are there notes of caution hanging over any of them?

Lewis Dunk
Brighton and Hove Albion centre back Dunk has been highly-rated for some time, earning an England Under-21 call-up aged 19 in November 2011. Now 23, he developed a set-piece scoring habit last season, and a good thing too as the Seagulls might have lost Championship status otherwise.

Although Brighton are now early leaders in that division, Dunk has never played top-flight football and may have lost his place at the Amex under Chris Hughton. Does that mean the Seagulls are set to sell? Going to Goodison Park would see Dunk leave his hometown behind.

Jonny Evans
Man United Club America Soccer

With almost 150 Premier League games under his belt, Northern Ireland international Evans is certainly experienced. There has also been a steady stream of Manchester United players down the years that have subsequently joined Everton.

He may no future under Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils reportedly want £12m for Evans. Should Stones be sold, then this valuation can easily be met, but Martinez has previously insisted he is only shopping for signings at the right price. West Bromwich Albion are also rumoured to be after Evans.

Ramiro Funes Mori
Argentina cap Funes Mori would make for an interesting addition to Toffees ranks. Coming through the ranks at River Plate hints at real pedigree, yet 24 is a relatively late age to make the jump from South America to Europe.

Like Evans, Funes Mori is left-footed and that would help to bring balance to Everton. There is always a risk with players like this, however, that they will struggle to settle in England.

Jannik Vestergaard
Denmark vs Sweden

Towering Denmark international Vestergaard would add extra height to the Toffees, and more than a few of his compatriots have made Merseyside a second home in recent times. Newcastle United also want to take him to Tyneside, though.

Seldom do 6ft 6in plus players posses pace and, alongside an ageing Phil Jagielka, this is something opposition attackers with intelligent runs and bursts of speed could easily exploit.

Ashley Williams
Wales and Swansea City skipper Williams worked with Martinez during his time in charge at the Liberty Stadium; both player and coach have grown in standing since.

The tabloid rumour mill have linked Arsenal and Crystal Palace to Williams previously, but no firm interest materialised. He appears happy at the Swans and is soon to turn 31, so would hardly be a long-term option.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.