Everton might want to think more deeply upon their reported admiration for Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic given the Bosnian’s previous as a mid-table millstone.
Rumours of the Toffees’ interest in the Stamford Bridge gloveman first arose at the beginning of June and have refused to die down even after former Southampton and Ajax goalie Maarten Stekelenburg arrived at Goodison Park.
Italian outlet Gazzamercato report that AC Milan goalkeeper Diego Lopez is poised to join Chelsea when Begovic moves to Merseyside.
The 29-year-old has been a well-regarded custodian in the Premier League for six seasons, yet it might prove prudent for Ronald Koeman to overlook him if the Merseyside club are to deliver on top-six finish odds of 100/30.
Across the seven seasons in which the Bosnian has made ten or more league appearances for one team, he as amassed a knack for playing his part in mid-division campaigns.
In 2008/09, Begovic put down ten starts for the first time when on loan at League One Yeovil Town from Portsmouth.
The presence of a future top-flight and international keeper in the Glovers’ ranks could only inspire them to 17th of 24 in the end of season standings.
Meanwhile, over five campaigns as Stoke’s number one, the Potters end up 13th, 14th, 13th, ninth and ninth.
Nor was signing with reigning champions Chelsea in 2015/16 enough to dispel the notion that Begovic is synonymous with mid-table moderation, his 17 showings contributing the latest mid-table standing on his resume (tenth).
Ditching him after one season at Stamford Bridge would also rate another sandbag over the side of the hot air balloon basket for new Blues manager Antonio Conte as he attempts to blast them back into the upper reaches of the top flight.
The west London side are inside 1/5 to finish inside the division’s leading sextet, while top-four odds of 55/100 show just how much the bookies fear the 2014/15 kingpins under the former Juventus tactician.