Report: West Ham and Everton Chase French Defender


Maxime Estève of Burnley
Maxime Estève of Burnley during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Burnley FC at Selhurst Park on February 24, 2024 in London, England.

According to a report from L’Équipe, West Ham and Everton have both opened preliminary talks to sign Burnley defender Maxime Estève. The 22-year-old French centre-back joined Burnley from Montpellier HSC towards the end of the January transfer window for a fee of €12 million. Despite Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League, Estève has been a standout performer for Vincent Kompany’s side, featuring in every match since his arrival. 

His consistent performances have caught the attention of Premier League sides looking to bolster their defences. As L’Équipe notes, “West Ham United and Everton have both opened preliminary talks to sign the French youth international, impressed with his performances over the past few months.”

The Key Stats

Maxime Estève, born on May 26, 2002, is a promising young centre-back. Standing at 1.93 metres, he has the physical presence necessary for the role. Estève has represented France at the U23 level, earning one cap to date. Since joining Burnley, he has accumulated significant playing time, featuring in 30 matches across all competitions in the 2023/24 season. His appearances include 16 in the Premier League, 12 in Ligue 1, and 2 in the Coupe de France, totalling 2,489 minutes on the pitch. This extensive playing time reflects his importance to the teams and his ability to handle the demands of top-flight football.

To understand Estève’s potential impact in the Premier League, it’s useful to compare him to another young centre-back, Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite. In the 2023/24 season, Branthwaite has outperformed Estève in several key defensive metrics. Branthwaite boasts a challenge success rate of 72.6%, compared to Estève’s 59.6%. In aerial duels, Branthwaite again comes out on top, winning 68.6% of his battles versus Estève’s 55.7%. This statistical comparison highlights areas where Estève can improve but also underscores the context of his performances—playing for a relegated side often under more defensive pressure can skew such statistics. But they’re not exactly shining still.

Maxime Estève’s current market value stands at €7 million, as per Transfermarkt, a slight drop from his transfer fee in January. With a contract running until 2028, Burnley holds a strong negotiating position. The club will likely seek a fee that at least matches, if not exceeds, the €12 million they initially paid. Given the interest from Premier League clubs and Estève’s potential, a bidding war could drive up his price. His wages, though undisclosed, would also be a factor for interested clubs. Despite his lower success rates in some defensive metrics, Estève’s potential and the experience he has gained at a young age make him a valuable target for clubs looking to strengthen their defence. It maybe more his Montpellier days and the potential factor of a cheaper price. Bear in mind West Ham are set to sign a centre back too. Hard to be certain with this one.

Statistical Analysis by EPL Index

Maxime Estève: Performance Data and Stats

Maxime Estève has rapidly become a prominent name in European football, particularly for his defensive prowess. A look at his performance data and stats over the last 365 days, provided by Fbref, reveals an intriguing profile of a young centre-back who balances defensive solidity with surprising offensive contributions.

Defensive Capabilities

Estève’s defensive metrics are particularly impressive. With 1.69 interceptions per 90 minutes, placing him in the 92nd percentile, Estève demonstrates excellent anticipation and positioning. His 1.65 tackles per 90 minutes, ranking in the 66th percentile, further highlight his reliability in one-on-one situations. Additionally, his 1.73 aerial duels won per 90 minutes (34th percentile) indicate room for growth, especially considering his towering 1.93-metre frame. His clearance rate of 4.14 per 90 minutes (57th percentile) suggests he effectively handles pressure, even in high-stakes scenarios.

Passing and Possession

Estève’s passing stats paint a picture of a modern centre-back comfortable with ball distribution. His pass completion rate of 82.5% places him in the 27th percentile, suggesting a potential area for improvement. However, his progressive numbers are more encouraging; 0.86 progressive carries per 90 minutes rank him in the 72nd percentile. This indicates his willingness to break lines and contribute to the team’s build-up play. 

Offensive Contributions

Interestingly, Estève’s offensive stats, while not the primary focus of his role, show notable contributions. His expected assists (xAG) and assists per 90 minutes rank in the 34th and 70th percentiles, respectively. This suggests that while not his main responsibility, Estève is capable of creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. His shot-creating actions are also a key highlight, positioned in the 40th percentile, reflecting his involvement in initiating attacks.

In conclusion, Maxime Estève’s performance data and stats illustrate a well-rounded centre-back with significant defensive strengths and a commendable ability to contribute to offensive play. As noted by Fbref, these metrics make him an attractive prospect for Premier League clubs seeking to bolster their defences.

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