Everton look a very big price at 8/1 to finish in the top four following their fifth Premier League win in six games at Aston Villa and boss Roberto Martinez plans to add Dutch international defender Bruno Martins Indi to the Goodison Park squad after Christmas as he attempts to build a squad capable of staying in touch with the big boys.
Feyenoord manager Ronald Koeman admitted recently that the Rotterdam club may have to sell Martins Indi, who also attracted interest from Arsenal during the last transfer window and Martinez will attempt to revive a deal he couldn’t complete over the summer with a £6m bid in January.
Martins Indi has established himself in the Netherlands’ setup and started most of their World Cup 2014 qualifying matches.
The centre-half – who can also play at left-back – was born in the Portuguese city of Barreiro, but chose to represent his adopted country and made his Netherlands debut in their 4-2 friendly loss against Belgium in August 2012, playing a key part in both his side’s goals.
Dutch coach Louis van Gaal named the defender in his starting line-ups for eight of the Oranje’s ten World Cup 2014 qualifiers, with the 21-year-old only rested once qualifying had been practically assured and he is expected to be a key player for them next summer in Brazil.
As well as impressing with his ability to snuff out attacks the stopper also offers a threat going forward and has scored twice already this season.
Similarities between Martins Indi and former England stalwart Campbell go beyond their comparable physical statures and a shared coolness bringing the ball out of defence, although a pass accuracy rate of 83 per cent in ten Eredivisie games this season is reminiscent of the cultured former Arsenal defender.
During the 1998/99 season when still at Tottenham the Plaistow man managed to find the back of the net eight times in all competitions and the Feyenoord man is already threatening to emulate that impressive tally, building on his three strikes for club and country last season with two goals in the Dutch top flight so far this term.
Sylvain Distin turns 36 in December and a long-term replacement must be sought.
The evergreen Frenchman has made more Premier League appearances than any other foreign player and despite Distin starting all of the Toffees’ top-flight games this season it is fair to assume that those long legs don’t have too many more miles left in them.
John Heitinga – who has only appeared in the Capital One Cup under Martinez – is the only other fit centre-half in Everton’s first-team squad and with summer signing from Wigan Antolin Alcaraz yet to make an appearance for the club due to injury, the Spaniard needs numbers at the back to sustain the Merseysiders’ fine start to the campaign.