Three tackles, 10 clearances: Reported West Ham target shows promise against Everton

Aleksandar Dragovic has been linked to the likes of West Ham United, Manchester United and Arsenal.

24-year-old Dragovic currently turns out for Dynamo Kyiv, although the Mail has linked him to West Ham, and the Manchester Evening News has reported on interest from Arsenal and Manchester United.

An Austria international, it is clear that Dragovic is likely in his last season at Kyiv, with all the interest surrounding him, although it has been hard to see just how promising he is. With Kyiv storming the domestic league - they sit top of the table having yet to lose a game - the central defender has been put under more threat on the European stage.

With Kyiv progressing well in the Europa League, they came up against Premier League strugglers Everton on Thursday, and it was the first chance many had to view Dragovic in action. Although Everton are struggling domestically, they have been at top form in Europe, and Dragovic had to be at the top of his game to hold off the attacking threat of Romelu Lukaku, who had a fantastic night.

Despite losing 2-1 at Goodison Park, Dragovic did little wrong, and watching parties would certainly have been impressed by his first display against Premier League opposition.

  TacklesClearancesAerials WonFouls
Aleksandar Dragovic 3 10 0 0

Despite conceding two goals, Dragovic put in a promising display at the heart of his team’s defence, and showed a wealth of talent and experience, despite his young age. He won three tackles, completed an impressive 10 clearances, and did not commit a single foul. Although he failed to win an aerial duel, his game is not based around his physicality, and he never looked too threatened when balls were lobbed towards the area.

Due to the current craze of possession football, being a good central defender is still not enough to earn a move to a top club. One must be good on the ball and be able to play out of defence without becoming flustered in the face of pressure.

Dragovic certainly fills such a role, and he clearly has the natural talent of a top-level footballer.

  TouchesPassesPassing Accuracy
Aymen Abdennour 49 34 88.2%

49 touches and 34 passes were played with an accuracy of 88.2%, suggesting a highly adept on-the-ball player. He never looked under pressure despite the Toffees’ high pressing system, and was one of the standout performers on the Kyiv side.

Dragovic’s performance gives even more strength to the rumours that he will be moving to the Premier League in the summer, and if teams were watching his game they should be preparing offers right now. All that remains to be seen is whether it is West Ham, Arsenal or Man United who win the race for the highly-rated central defender.

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