Everton Focus – A look at Bryan Oviedo, Costa Rica international

With the transfer window closing the week before the international break, it is only fitting that deadline day saw Everton’s squad take on more of an international flavour. David Moyes is still waiting on ratification for the loan signing of Belgium midfielder Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe but moving to Goodison Park permanently was Costa Rica international Bryan Oviedo.

Oviedo moves to Merseyside after two-and-a-half years with Copenhagen in Denmark. To get a little more information on the player, A Different League spoke to Peter Schulz, website editor and Premier League commentator for Danish broadcaster TV 2 SPORT.

Copenhagen spotted Oviedo playing for Costa Rica at the U20 World Cup in 2009 and moved quickly to sign him late in the January transfer window in 2010 from Deportivo Saprissa just after he’d made his full international debut, Schultz said. He continued: “They knew they had a player with great potential on their hands and after he’d had a year getting to know Denmark, they sent him on loan to Nordsjaelland where he got his breakthrough with a series of good performances in spring 2011. I don’t think that’s too bad for a 19-year-old.

Schultz added that Oviedo returned to Copenhagen before the start of last season and, despite the club missing out on the title – ironically to Nordsjaelland – Oviedo made quite an impression and was soon on the radar of a number of English clubs. “Copenhagen fans will definitely miss him but with the club failing to reach the Champions League group stage the club probably felt this was the right time,” Schulz went on. “I’ve seen his price reported between £2m and £5m and that’s a decent profit because I can’t imagine they paid a lot for him.

Oviedo is best utilised as a left-back, Schulz noted, a position that Leighton Baines currently holds with the Toffees but beyond the England international, there is little-to-no back-up. When Baines was injured towards the end of last season Sylvain Distin deputised, while for a recent League Cup game 19-year-old debutant Luke Garbutt replaced Baines at half-time.

But defender is a label Schulz feels does not sit well on Oviedo – and Schulz reveals that the player’s qualities are such that he could be positioned elsewhere. “[He] is definitely an attack-minded full-back, a very busy player. No matter whether he’ll end up playing in front of Baines on the wing or instead of him at full-back Everton fans will quickly get used to seeing him buzzing up and down the left side. In my opinion he is better at full-back but he isn’t afraid to get forward and is technically sound,” Schulz said.

Having moved to Denmark at a young age and adapted fairly quickly hopes are high the same will happen in the Premier League. While Schulz was unsure Oviedo would follow that trajectory in England, he still believes the player has a bright future. “I can’t say whether he’ll adapt well to life on Merseyside and at Everton, but I wish him well and I’m looking forward to seeing him take his career to a higher level and challenge for a first team place at Goodison.

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