If Everton’s 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday proved anything, it’s that Cuco Martina simply isn’t up to the task of replacing Seamus Coleman long-term on the right-hand side of Ronald Koeman’s back five.
The Curacao international always seemed like an underwhelming signing after Coleman was ruled out until the New Year with a broken ankle sustained on international duty with the Republic of Ireland in March.
Koeman may have brought Martina to Southampton in the summer of 2014 but he barely featured on the South Coast, failing to really challenge either Nathanial Clyne or Cedric Soares for a first-team berth.
Heir to the throne?
Therefore, it seemed a little optimistic from Koeman to believe Martina could step up to the plate in the absence of Coleman, who has been one of the Premier League’s finest right-backs for at least four years.
However, if the Dutch manager is looking for a player to provide adequate cover for Coleman, he is looking in the right place with Celtic teenager Anthony Ralston.
The Scottish Sun reports that Everton have tracked the 18-year-old since he broke into Celtic’s first-team towards the end of last season and were impressed as he helped Scotland reach the semi-finals of the prestigious Toulon tournament this summer.
And Ralston, an attack minded and mature youngster, offered a glimpse of his potential by impressing in Tuesday’s Champions League clash against PSG despite Celtic suffering a 5-0 battering, their heaviest home defeat since 1895.
At just 18, Ralston has a huge future in the game and could benefit immensely from honing his trade alongside Coleman, an experienced international and one of the best in his position. Furthermore, Coleman is ten years Ralston’s senior, meaning the teenager could be groomed to replace him in Everton’s starting XI when the Republic of Ireland captain starts to slow down.
Everton have been looking to the future with many of their recent signings and Ralston would be another example of the exciting forward-planning taking place at Goodison.