Report: Benitez turned down the chance to sign 'fantastic' player from Chelsea for Everton
Everton manager Rafa Benitez reportedly refused to entertain the idea of snatching Tino Livramento off Chelsea in the previous transfer window.
According to The Athletic, Benitez overlooked Livramento as a potential new Goodison Park recruit, because he wanted players coming in with more Premier League experience.
The former Chelsea and Liverpool coach made numerous signings over the summer, following his introduction as the replacement for Carlo Ancelotti.
He brought in Asmir Begovic, Salomon Rondon and Andros Townsend as free agents, whilst Demarai Gray joined the Toffees for £1.7m (BBC).
All certainly possess a greater knowledge of England’s top flight than Livramento, who was swept up by Southampton instead.
In hindsight, Benitez probably would have made a great effort to acquire the young defender’s services.
Livramento living it up
The 19-year-old has been a revelation for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s generally struggling side.
His lack of senior experience should be wiped clean, after starting all 15 of the Saints’ league fixtures so far.
“He’s changed completely which is really nice to see when you get a bit more confidence playing, he’s not as shy and timid around the place he’s got a bit more of a presence,” said Southampton’s Theo Walcott on his teenage teammate.
“It just shows that there’s a future star there but again we need to be careful as we always do but it’s why we love football isn’t it? I can’t complain, he’s been absolutely fantastic.”
A bright Bale-like future?
Walcott also went on to draw comparisons between Livramento and Gareth Bale, who started his career down by the south coast.
Chelsea’s 2020/21 Academy Player of the Year still has some hard yards to make up if he is to reach Bale’s wuthering heights.
Yet, the early signs are arguably more impressive than the Welshman’s initial steps into first-team football.
Livramento looks totally settled in the first division and could be a mainstay for many seasons to come.
A return to Stamford Bridge might await the full-back, as his former employers reportedly included a buy-back clause in his Southampton contract.