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Signing defender Mori may be a gamble worth taking for Martinez; Powerful centre-back can be eventual successor to Jagielka.

Byline: Kristian Walsh kristian.walsh@trinitymirror.com @Kristian_Walsh

EVERTON remain interested in River Plate centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori in a deal worth around PS5.5m.

The 24-year-old would join the Blues on the back of a successful four years with the Argentine giants, winning the Argentine Primera Divison, the Copa Sudamericana and the most prestigious trophy in South American football, the Copa Libertadores.

Mori scored a header in the 3-0 victory against Mexican Liga MX side Tigres in the second leg of the Copa Libertadores final at the Estadio Monumental earlier this month; he was also man of the match in the final.

He will need to acquire a work permit before he can play for Everton.

What can the Blues expect from the Los Millonairos defender? STRENGTHS The defender has been an important figure at River Plate under manager Marcelo Gallardo, earning his spot in the team at the expense of Colombian International Eder Alvarez Balanta.

Despite Balanta being one of the best young centre backs in the South American game, Mori was able to move in front of him in the pecking order and form a solid partnership along side Jonathan Maidana, indicating the talent that Mori possesses.

His performances for River Plate earned him a call up to Gerardo Martino's Argentina squad for a friendly game against El Salvador, in which he played the full 90 minutes.

Mori is a powerful defender. Standing at 6ft 2ins, he holds a serious aerial threat, both defensively and offensively. Mori has scored six goals in 72 appearances for River Plate, the majority coming from set-piece situations.

Not only is Mori a threat in the air, he also has a powerful left foot - he demonstrated this trait by scored a outstanding free kick against Temperely in Argentina's top division.

Mori is also a very mobile defender and his ability to move, combined with the physical aspects of his game, would make him an exciting match for the Premier League.

Playing from the back is a big feature of Roberto Martinez's Everton side, and Mori can certainly adapt to that style of play as he is comfortable on the ball and has a good eye.

Mori also has experience playing in big games - the defender scored a late winner at La Bombonera against arch rivals Boca Juniors in a 2-1 victory last year. If he joins, Everton fans will be hoping he can deliver the same result in a Merseyside derby.

WEAKNESSES As a South American defender, there is no surprise that he can lack concentration levels at times, resulting in sloppy mistakes.

Defenders from the continent are often caught out due to their eccentric style of play and unfortunately he falls under the same umbrella.

However, playing and training alongside England internationals Phil Jagielka and John Stones will certainly help Mori grow as a defender, and hopefully it will iron out the mistakes that he can be prone to make.

John Stones | could be a solid The fast pace and the intensity of the Premier League may take a while for Mori to adapt to and it may result in the odd mistake, which could prove to be costly.

HIT OR MISS? The Argentine defender is a gamble, but it is a gamble worth taking for Roberto Martinez.

The ability is there in Mori and he has the potential to be good signing for Everton.

He may only be brought in as cover for Phil Jagielka and John Stones to begin with, but the left -sided centre-back could grow into the perfect replacement for 33-yearold Jagielka and form a solid partner-ship alongside Stones. Being Argentine, Mori is a fighter and a battler; that normally bodes well with the Everton faithful, so there is every chance Mori will be popular with at Goodison Park.

and Mori partnership At PS5.5m, the defender could be a real success on Merseyside.

CAPTION(S):

John Stones and Mori | could be a solid partnership

Argentine defender and Everton target Ramiro Funes Mori could be a bargain for the Blues at around PS5.5m |
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 20, 2015
Words:678
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