Everton may have to replace Marouane Fellaini this summer should the Belgian be snapped up by one of Europe's bigger clubs.
If Fellaini leaves it would be a huge blow to the Toffees.
Fellaini has been a key part of the club's charge toward a European position. He has 10 goals—his best return in the league so far—and three assists in the league so far.
Fellaini would command a significant transfer fee however and Everton could certainly get a solid replacement.
Finding an exact replica of Fellaini is highly unlikely, but Everton can bring in players who bring similar talents and can solidfiy the club elsewhere.
Here are five possible replacements for Marouane Fellaini if he leaves.
*Unless otherwise stated all statistics courtesy of ESPN Soccernet.
James McCarthy could very well be hot property in the summer.
According to the Daily Star the Ireland midfielder is being considered a possible replacement for Marouane Fellaini.
McCarthy already has plenty of experience under his belt for a 22-year-old, but he would be far from a direct replacement for Fellaini.
His two goals and one assist for Wigan this season pale in comparison to Fellaini's own statistics.
Where McCarthy would prove helpful is in the club's ball retention and creation of chances.
His work-rate in the middle third would also make him a good fit for the Merseyside club.
Talksport.com pegged Etienne Capoue as a potential signing for the Toffees in January.
The Toulouse midfielder would be close to replacing Fellaini in terms of the physical presence he brings on the pitch.
Capoue would have be utilized in a similar manner to Fellaini when he first arrived at the club.
His defensive skills would solidify Everton in midfield, and his passing range would help the club on the attacking end.
Capoue's four goals and two assists in 23 Ligue 1 games also showcases his effectiveness going forward.
Both articles reported on the player's £3.5 million release clause, which would enable Everton to sign him and someone else to replace Marouane Fellaini.
Diame would bring some much-needed energy to Everton's midfield.
He can't be positioned where Fellaini plays now and won't provide the same goal-scoring threat as the Belgian.
What he would bring to the club comes mainly on the other end of the pitch.
An average of 3.8 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game highlight his ability to break up opponent's attacks(via WhoScored.com).
Everton may return for a player they failed to capture toward the end of the summer transfer window (via BBC).
The Toffees were again linked (per the Daily Mail) with a move for the player during the January window.
Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe was to be brought in to play alongside Marouane Fellaini and increase the strength of the Everton midfield.
The Club Brugge player could also replace Fellaini as he is capable of providing the same positional versatility as his fellow Belgian.
Kevin Strootman hasn't really been linked with a move to Everton, but he's a good candidate for this list.
Six goals in 16 games showcases his ability to get among the goals from midfield and he is capable defensively as well.
Of all the players on this list, Strootman would be the closest thing to a replacement as he could be a key component of Everton's attack.