Everton Transfers: Scouting Toffees Target Vegard Forren
According to several recent reports, David Moyes spent the Wednesday of international week attending the friendly match between Norway and Hungary, supposedly assessing the talents of Vegard Forren.
Following this, Greg O'Keeffe of The Liverpool Echo then reported the Toffees were hoping to line up a January bid for the Norwegian defender, with Moyes clearly impressed with what he saw.
Obviously any deal remains a long way off, but should Everton follow up this interest in Forren, what sort of player would the club be getting?
Aged 24, Forren's played in the Norwegian league his entire career. He has made over 150 appearances and has experience in the Europa League and Champions League qualification.
He recently broke through to the senior Norwegian set-up, after impressing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, Molde FK, who have just recorded back-to-back domestic titles.
Having amassed several caps at under-21 level and made a few appearances in friendlies, Forren then started last month's World Cup qualifiers against Switzerland and Cyprus, partnering Fulham's Brede Hangeland in central defence.
Forren plays the game with an attractive style for a centre-back, mixing some vintage qualities with the modern attributes expected of a defender.
Left-footed, he adopts an-all action approach around the challenge area, happy diving in and putting his body on the line, whilst also appearing confident in possession and able to play the ball out from the back.
Physicality is certainly a feature of his game, and he is also renowned for some energetic surges forward that make him an instant hit with supporters.
Despite not being especially tall for a defender, Forren excels most of all in the air. He has an impressive leap and combative approach to aerial contests, making him a hard man to beat in this department.
In the three games he's played in the Europa League this season, he's won 13 of his 15 aerial duels and across the entire 48-team group stage, only eight players have won the ball in the air more frequently.
Forren is also a hard man to dribble past and reads the game well, constantly intercepting and clearing the danger for his team. He is strong, has good pace for a central defender and is positionally very accomplished.
Comfortable will the ball at his feet, he passes well and has a particularly accurate long ball.
There is no weakness in Forren's game that could not be gradually coached out. He is certainly competent in the tackle area, but has a slight tendency to charge in and foul a player when he would be better served standing off.
His all-action style wins him a lot of challenges, but there are also times he's too physical and concedes unnecessary fouls. He's given away double as many free kicks as any of his teammates in the Europa League this season.
On film he appears very left-footed which may occasionally leave him in trouble, especially with so many inverted wingers in the modern game at the moment.
While it earns him a lot of admirers, Forren would also perhaps need to temper his inclination to maraud forward so often, especially in a more tactically disciplined side.
Would Forren be a good signing for Everton?
On paper, a centre-back is not such an obvious link for Everton, as the presence of Phil Jagielka, Johnny Heitinga and Sylvain Distin leave the Toffees well stocked at the back.
Many would argue Moyes has more pressing areas to address in January, yet with Distin approaching the twilight of his career and Heitinga now in the final 18 months of his contract, it's a position Everton will have to give attention to soon.
If January is deemed the right time, then a move for Forren makes a lot of sense. According to The Liverpool Echo, he would be available for a bargain fee in the region of £2.5 million, making him a far more alluring option than so many overpriced domestic players.
He would add youthful quality to the mix and could prove the ideal replacement for Distin. Left-sided, similarly skilled in the air but more comfortable playing out from the back and equipped with an all-round better passing game.
Forren's value would inflate the moment he began featuring in the Premier League, and if the money can be found, buying him for such a small amount would be more smart business from the Toffees.
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