Why Oviedo Will Shine For Blues
We get the expert lowdown on new boy Bryan.
Last Friday, Bryan Oviedo became Everton's fourth summer signing when he joined the Blues on a four-year deal from FC Copenhagen.
We spoke to Jes Mortensen, a football pundit for Denmark's TV2 and close follower of the new man's career path, to find out everything we could about the 22-year-old Costa Rican...
Tell us a little bit about Bryan. What type of player is he?
He's a very, very offensive player. He goes forward a lot as a left-back and the offensive side is clearly the best part of his game when you see him play. He's very fast, technically he's brilliant, he makes good crosses, he makes goals - he's a really modern full-back and the kind of player I think a lot of managers are looking for today. Everton have signed a good player.
How big an impact did he have at FC Copenhagen?
When he first arrived in 2010, tactically he wasn't that good, that developed. But they loaned him out to FC Nordsjælland, who are now playing in the Champions League, and there he developed a lot. When he came back to FC Copenhagen he really showed he is a quality player. He came back very, very strong and almost instantly became the first choice in his position. He set up a lot of goals, he scored a few himself - not that many, but some - and he made a great impact. They had a left-back before him, the Swedish international Oscar Wendt, and before his loan spell Bryan was a bit in his shadow. But afterwards you could see he was confident, settled in the league and he became an important asset for FC Copenhagen.
How disappointed were FC Copenhagen fans to lose Bryan?
They were disappointed, no doubt. But his contract was running out in a year, he'd already told the club he wasn't going to renew his contract, that he wanted to go to a bigger league and try something different, so it was their only option if they wanted to get some money for him. When they missed out on the Champions League there wasn't really much else they could do. In Denmark we're used to it. When players become as good as Oviedo is, you sell them because there will never be enough challenges for players like him here. But still, from a sporting perspective they were sad to let him go.
It's a big step up from the Danish Superliga to the Premier League. How do you expect Bryan to cope with the move to England?
I expect him to be able to cope. At Copenhagen, one of the things about him was that he developed constantly, and he's still a young player. The Premier League is obviously a lot more physical, is faster and has a lot better players. But every time there was a new challenge for him in Denmark, he just grew and got better, and I think he'll do that again. He's also playing international football for Costa Rica and getting experience that way, so I think he'll be a good player in the Premier League.
Leighton Baines was voted the best left-back in the Premier League last season by his fellow professionals. How do you expect Bryan to rise to the challenge of competing for a place against a player as popular and talented as Leighton?
It's tough competition, for sure. I think he'll respond quite well to it though. He has to acknowledge and accept that maybe in the start he won't be first choice, because Leighton Baines is a brilliant player and has done so well for Everton for a long time now, and Bryan is the new kid in town. But in England you play so many games and he will get his time. Bryan knows he's joined a big league, a big club where expectations are high and the quality of the competition among his teammates is very high. He experienced exactly the same at Copenhagen. He wasn't the first choice when he first arrived but mentally he was strong, he never complained about being second choice, he just worked hard, played when he got his chance, got better, and eventually won his place.
So you expect Bryan to be a success at Everton?
It's always difficult when people go to the Premier League because there's always a lot of pressure on the players. It's a huge league - one of the two best in the world along with the Spanish league - but the English game has got less physical maybe and more about a possession style of football - and that's where Bryan's strengths are. Like every player who moves to England, he will need time to settle in and adapt, and it might take six months or so for him to do that. But he's suited to the league and I think he will be a success.