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Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.

Daily Mail

Everton are on the trail of Holland's top goalscorer Bas Dost.

Manager David Moyes and assistant Steve Round travelled to Enschede on Wednesday to watch the 22-year-old score his 31st goal of the season as Heerenveen beat FC Twente 4-3.

Also on show was FC Twente forward Luuk de Jong, who has been attracting interest from Liverpool and Newcastle among others.

De Jong scored twice but is out of Everton's price range, with Steve McClaren's club valuing him at £15million.

Dost, who is 6ft 4in, has been watched extensively by Aston Villa and German club Wolfsburg.

The Germans believe they are in pole position and are willing to offer around £7.5million for the Holland Under 21 striker.

That may also be too expensive for Everton but they hope the lure of the Premier League can persuade Dost to join should they pursue a deal.

Test Liverpool Echo PNGPHIL Neville believes Everton FC's central defenders could play for any team in the Premier League - but John Heitinga has been the pick of them this season.

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The Blues captain reckons the club are lucky to have the experience and ability of Sylvain Distin, Phil Jagielka and Heitinga.

But it is the Dutchman - widely tipped to win Everton's player of the season award next week - who is in the form of his career on Merseyside, according to Neville.

"I think we have three unbelievable centre-backs that would walk into any other team in the Premier League," said the former England international.

"We have got competition for places and I think that is why we have got the level of performance that Johnny is producing.

"He has been unbelievable, using his experience and composure on the ball. I think it has been his best form since he came to the club."

The Dutchman arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2009 and has become a key part of the Blues' squad this season.

Heitinga, 28, is contracted at Goodison until summer 2014, and Neville believes he has grown to love the club since he joined three years ago.

He said: "He loves playing for Everton Football Club and as someone who plays at the top level for Holland, that is fantastic.

"It does take players a while to settle in.

"I think the thing is he is playing in his best position. He played in midfield and he always said playing at centre-back is his best position."

Meanwhile, reserves boss Alan Stubbs has hailed his young side after a superb run of from since Christmas saw them finish third in the Barclays Premier Reserve League

Stubbs said their performance in overcoming Arsenal 2-0 on Wednesday was the culmination of a season's hard graft.

He said: "It was an impressive win. We've done really well recently. The players have done everything we've asked them to do and they've been great with their attitude.

"Earlier on in the season we would definitely have drawn or lost that game, which is a good sign that they are learning and starting to take things on board.

"We were patient. If you're going to go and chase Arsenal all night, you're in for a long night. And you can see that at all levels, they can make it tough for you like that.

"We spoke before the game and worked on the right times to press and the right times to sit off and let them have the ball, and that seemed to be the case last night. They chose the right moments to go and close down and when it wasn't right, we were back into a good shape and patient.

"That's one defeat in 14 games and no matter what level of football you play, to do that is really good and the players have got to take all the credit for that."




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