By Sean Fisher

21st Dec, 2022 | 9:40pm

Everton put on high alert over January move for Stoke City defender Harry Souttar

According to the Daily Mail, Everton have been long-term admirers of Harry Souttar and may be tempted to make a move after his impressive World Cup campaign.

Souttar suffered a serious ligament injury back in November 2021 and only made his return in September this year. Despite his lengthy spell on the sidelines, he was called up by Australia to be part of their World Cup squad.

The 24-year-old was back to his brilliant best in Qatar with the Socceroos, helping Australia to an unlikely second-place finish in Group D ahead of Tunisia and Denmark.

They faced eventual winners Argentina in the round of 16, but put up a good fight in a narrow 2-1 defeat. Souttar drew plenty of praise during the tournament, with radio pundit Pat Nevin saying: “You’ve got to absolutely love him. It seems he’s got a magnet in his head and been a one-man defence for Australia at times.” [Daily Mail]

As per the Daily Mail, Everton have been long-term admirers of Souttar dating back to before his major injury, and the Toffees are now “on alert” alongside Tottenham over a possible move following his World Cup success.

The 6ft6 defender currently plies his trade for Championship outfit Stoke City, who will hope to keep hold of Souttar as they aim to climb the standings in the second half of the season.

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Overhaul needed

If Everton are to pick up Souttar either in January or in the summer, then the club will need to make an active effort to offload a number of players before his arrival.

The dressing room is overflowing with centre-backs this season after Frank Lampard introduced both Conor Coady and James Tarkowski in the summer.

They have both proved to be magnificent additions to the squad, but it’s left no space for hte likes of Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate. Adding another centre-back to the roster is not possible just yet.

Mina seems to be on his way out of hte club soon, but ideally, Lampard would need to sell another defender to make space for Souttar’s arrival – provided that Coady signs on a permanent basis in the summer.

If Coady doesn’t make his Goodison Park stay permanent then Lampard would definitely need to find a new partner for Tarkowski, and perhaps he views Souttar as the ideal candidate.