Report: Everton watch Belgian defender who likens himself to John Stones

Toffees scouts have been tracking the progress of Bjorn Engels, a report claims.

Everton have watched Club Brugge defender Bjorn Engels, according to Belgian publication Het Laatste Nieuws.

Engels is said to have caught the eye of several European clubs this season, particularly those from England's Premier League.

And with John Stones being linked with moves elsewhere, it is perhaps no surprise to learn that Everton are paying close attention.

The report claims that Toffees representatives are weekly visitors of Club Brugge matches, but avoids listing the 21-year-old as an official target at this stage.

In a separate report, by Belgian publication Voetbalnieuws, Engels is quoted as saying: "I recognise a bit of myself in John Stones.

"Similar in height, in stature, and also a defender who's looking to play the ball out from the back.

"Comfortable with the ball at his feet, strong in the air, occasionally scoring a goal. I look at him when he's playing. What's he doing? How is he positioning himself on the pitch."

Engels returned following a 14-month injury lay-off in December and helped his side finish top of the Pro League ahead of the subsequent Championship play-offs, which they currently lead by three points. 

Despite making 67 senior appearances for the Blue-Black, the 6ft 4in centre-back is yet to be capped by Belgium at senior level, though that could be about to change after Vincent Kompany's latest injury.

Everton, for whom Red Devils stars Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas currently play, were linked with Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson as a possible Stones replacement last month.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch