Everton are reportedly plotting a move for Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt ahead of the January transfer window as manager Sam Allardyce looks to provide the ageing and currently injured Leighton Baines with serious competition for his position at Goodison Park.
Despite spending close to £150m ($200.5m) in the summer, the Toffees are still scarce in a number of areas and are primed for another heavy recruitment drive next month as they bid to rectify the errors made only a number of weeks ago.
Allardyce is planning to meet the whole Everton squad before January in order to determine the best course of action for each and every one of them and confirmed earlier this week that he will make significant efforts to address the imbalance in the squad he inherited from Ronald Koeman, who was relieved of his duties in early October.
One of the positions severely troubling Everton at the moment is left-back. Baines, 33, is the only specialist left-back registered in the Toffees' Premier League squad - Luke Garbutt was ignored by Koeman and is plying his trade for the club's Under-23s - with Cuco Martina, primarily a right-back, the only source of cover for the former Wigan Athletic star, who is struggling with a calf injury sustained against Southampton.
Martina, an unpopular figure among Everton fans, has valiantly stepped into the breach in Baines' absence in recent weeks and has performed well given the circumstances, though he was at fault for Mohamed Salah's goal in the Merseyside derby on Sunday (10 December).
Allardyce acknowledged his lack of options at left-back almost immediately after arriving on Merseyside, and his search to find cover and competition for Baines has led him to an old friend in the form of Van Aanholt, according to ESPN.
The former England manager parted with around £14m to bring the Dutchman to Selhurst Park from the Stadium of Light in the January transfer window, and is looking to rekindle his partnership with Van Aanholt next month, though it is not known if Roy Hodgson's side are willing to part with the defender.
Everton have conceded 29 goals in the Premier League already this season and Allardyce is looking to shore up his defence, which has kept two clean sheets in the last three league matches, with reinforcements in January.
Allardyce is also prioritising a move for a new centre-forward and centre-back in January, but Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is unlikely to arrive at Goodison Park next month with BVB reluctant to sell the Gabon international during the halfway point of the campaign.