May 18, 2024

This £50m “octopus” could be on his way out of Everton after the club were hit with a 10-point deduction.

 

Everton has had a difficult week as a result of being docked ten points for violating Financial Fair Play regulations. This is the worst punishment in Premier League history, with Portsmouth receiving nine points docked in March 2010.

 

Following the Toffees’ conviction for logging losses exceeding the £105 million over three years allowed by the Profit and Sustainability Rules, Burnley, Leeds United, and Leicester City all threatened to sue for a combined £300 million. This outcry prompted the Toffees’ sentence.

 

The ruling from an independent commission has left Sean Dyche’s side second from bottom in the table now. With an appeal to take place and further litigation to battle against lawsuits, the Merseyside club could commence a fire sale in January, causing the manager to lose his best players.

 

One star in particular could be on his way out of Goodison Park this January.

 

Everton star could leave Merseyside

According to the Daily Express, via TEAMtalk, Manchester United are looking to take advantage of Everton’s FFP misery by taking Amadou Onana to Old Trafford this winter, just eighteen months after the midfielder joined the club.

The report claims that Erik ten Hag is hoping the Belgium international – who is valued at £50m – can add balance to United’s midfield this term, particularly with Casemiro and Christian Eriksen set to be sidelined for the remainder of the year.

After joining Everton for £33 million in the summer of 2022, Onana played a pivotal role in the team’s struggle to survive in the Premier League during his first season, making 33 appearances in the top flight.

 

This season, the 22-year-old Belgian has once again been a key player under Dyche. Teammate Arnaut Danjuma has gone so far as to call the player “like an octopus” because of his constant ability to recover the ball after a tackle.

 

The 6 foot 4 midfielder, according to Hamburg’s sporting director Jonas Boldt, has the “perfect” attributes to compete at the highest level.

 

Amadou Onana’s stats this season

Onana is not the type of midfielder to get eight to ten goals a season. In fact, the former Lille star has scored just nine goals in 124 appearances in his professional career.

 

However, the Everton general is incredibly versatile and can play in a handful of different positions, having had experience as a centre-back, a defensive midfielder, a number ’10’ and even one game up top, according to Transfermarkt.

 

Furthermore, Transfermarkt have ranked Onana as the tenth most expensive number ‘6’ in the world and Everton’s most valuable player, while his market value has increased by £17.5m since moving to Goodison Park eighteen months ago.

It’s safe to say despite his lofty valuation, this is someone the Toffees cannot afford to lose.

 

The former Hoffenheim starlet has been impressing statistically when compared to all holding midfield players across Europe’s top-five leagues, ranking in the top 5% for aerial duels per 90, the top 20% for expected assisted goals per 90 and the top 1% for passes blocked per 90.

 

Additionally, Onana’s data is most comparable to AS Roma’s Bryan Cristante, as per FBref’s player comparison model.

 

Onana has been Everton’s most influential midfielder this season and comparing his stats to the rest of the midfielders Dyche has available proves why it is imperative that the club keep hold of him beyond January.

 

While Onana may not be as impactful in the final third as some of Everton’s other midfielders, he is the key for Dyche’s side to progress up the pitch but to also regain possession once the ball is lost.

 

Indeed, losing the Belgian to Manchester United could have greater ramifications than any points deduction. They are still well in the fight to stay up but losing their best player could condemn any hopes.

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