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Spurs (A) Sun 30 Nov 2014, 16:00, Barclays Premier League

Alcaraz Move A Sharp Decision

by Hamish Dufton @efchamishdufton

Everton v Krasnodar

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Graeme Sharp says Antolin Alcaraz’s versatility could prove to be a useful asset for Roberto Martinez.

The Paraguay international, who made his first appearance for Everton in their 4-1 friendly victory away at Accrington Stanley on Wednesday night, possesses a cultured left foot and is comfortable playing in a number of different defensive positions.

Alcaraz has been training with his new teammates for the past fortnight and Sharp also believes that his familiarity with Roberto Martinez’s tactics will be of significant benefit.

“He [Martinez] has worked with him before and knows what he is all about,” Sharp said to evertontv.

“We have talked about Roberto Martinez and what different ideas he is going to bring to Everton, so he could play in the back as a third centre-back. We will have to wait and see what the manager decides to do with him.

“If we are looking at the left-back position, he can fill in there if he must, so I think it’s a good acquisition.



Antolin Alcaraz

“From what I remember of him, he is comfortable on the ball. He likes to come forward and can pass and, as a centre-back, that’s important in the way that Roberto sets up his side.

“Roberto has worked with him for three years so he knows his strengths and his weaknesses. He wouldn’t have brought him here if he didn’t think he would do a job.

Everton had the fourth best defensive record in the Premier League last season, conceding an average of just 1.05 goals per game.

With such strong statistics, Sharp says that it may well take time for Alcaraz to force his way into the side, although he is backing the defender to take his chance when presented with it.

He said: “He’s joining a team – the goalkeeper and back-four – that is a solid unit. He’s not necessarily going to walk into the team because we have got some fantastic players in that back-four.

“I think Roberto’s looked at that, he’s looked at Jagielka, Distin and Heitinga and thought that he needs some cover there.

“I think he has brought him in as cover to start with but, as everybody knows, if you come into the team and do a good job you will stay there.

“As I have said all along, it’s a good addition.”

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