Saturday, January 28, 2023

Everton could unearth Baines 2.0 in Parisi

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Everton are among the clutch of clubs eyeing the signature of Empoli’s Fabiano Parisi, who has emerged as one of the hottest prospects in the Italian Serie A…

Following reports over the past few weeks, the Toffees are set to rival the likes of Premier League rivals Leeds United for the ace, with Pianet Empoli stating that Blues boss Frank Lampard is ‘serious’ about swooping for the talent. 

Goodison Park currently yields two positional peers in that regard: Vitaliy Mykolenko and Ruben Vinagre. There is, however, a desire to improve the position with a signing of genuine quality, with Manchester United’s Luke Shaw also eyed this year.

Parisi, at just 22 years old, is already demonstrating his worth, a regular presence in the Empoli starting fold and an all-encompassing talent with a dynamism that belies his relative inexperience.

Baines 2.0

Earning 62 appearances since his £398k move to Empoli from US Avellino in 2020, Parisi has made steady gains in his endeavours on the pitch, scoring three goals and providing three assists on his way to becoming one of the most sought-after young full-backs in Italy.

The report from Pianet Empoli states that while Everton are interested, they will face competition from a wealth of top Italian outfits such as Napoli, Inter Milan, Juventus, Lazio, Fiorentina and Torino – consequently, it will certainly be a dogfight to emerge with the phenom’s services in tow.

Having made 14 appearances in the Serie A this term, Parisi has continued to demonstrate his sterling acumen for his side, navigating towards a respectable 13th place position after 15 matches played, ten points above the relegation zone.

For a side that finished 14th last season in their return to the top flight, there is a clear continuation of the strides made, a fortification of the ranks, cementing a sturdy position away from the peril of the dropzone. 

Themasterful” maestro – as dubbed by journalist Alvaro Canibe – has recorded an average Sofascore rating of 6.98 this term in the division, scoring two goals of his side’s 12 goals – outscoring his expected goals metrics of 1.47 – and averaging a key pass every game. 

His defensive ratings will also do little to deter Everton, with the Italian starlet making an average of 2.3 tackles, 2.3 clearances and 1.4 interceptions per match, as well as succeeding with 60% of his duels and 55% of his dribbles – with the claims that he will flourish at the very top strengthen with each passing performance.

He could emulate the feats of Leighton Baines, former Toffees captain and one of the Premier League’s most iconic and offensive-minded full-backs. 

Is Baines the greatest Everton player of his generation?

Baines made 420 appearances for the Merseyside blues, scoring 39 goals and assisting 67 more – his prowess was unmatched and he added several dimensions to the attack with a multi-faceted approach.

Parisi, who boasts something of an attacking skill set himself, could flourish at a club such as Everton, getting the Goodison faithful rocking with his eye-catching runs and knack for sniffing out goals and assists.

Lampard will face stuff competition, but the platform to nurture his abilities in front of a cacophonous crowd that demands pleasing football could sway the fortunes in Everton’s favour, and unearth their next Baines in the process.



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