A current Everton midfielder is likely to be on the way out this month with the club trying to sign someone at the position, says Paul Brown.
The Josimar journalist told GiveMeSport (20 January) it seems “clear” that the Toffees are looking to add a midfielder, with Brentford’s Frank Onyeka “sure” to be on the list.
However, Brown asserts that since the team does not have a transfer budget, it must be trying to clear space by trying to let go of an incumbent player before the deadline.
“It seems pretty clear to me that Everton is trying to sign a midfielder,” stated Brown. That implies that they are aiming to sell this month, or at the very least, that one of their present midfield players is likely to be gone.
“I don’t think Everton’s financial position currently makes it possible for the club to do any transfer business for a substantial fee unless someone is sold.
“So I think you can draw your own conclusions from the fact that there are several midfielders who have been linked to the club and there are agents out there who clearly think that Everton are trying to sign one. Onyeka I’m sure is on the list.
“But any deals that get done this month will have to be ones in the bargain basement unless they are able to sell a big asset. So I think it’s a case of watch this space.”
Proactive or reactive?
When everyone is available, Sean Dyche’s midfield looks quite formidable, therefore Everton’s attempts to add players to the middle may indicate that they are concerned about losing Amadou Onana.
The likes of Arsenal, Barcelona, Newcastle, and Manchester United are interested in signing the Belgian international, who would want a significant transfer fee.
It appears improbable that the Toffees will be able to find a replacement of similar caliber in the January transfer window, indicating that the goal in pursuing Onyeka is to avoid being left behind rather than to improve.
Similarly, the transfer interest from Saudi Arabia in Abdoulaye Doucouré doesn’t speak to a deal that should be done if it can be avoided because he is so key to Dyche and at 31 isn’t going to bring in enough money to make it worthwhile.
That would leave Idrissa Gana Gueye, who it wouldn’t necessarily be willing to part with at 34 and with six months left on his contract, and James Garner, who it would be surprising if Everton were willing to deal with. However, at 34 and with little money to sign a replacement, he won’t make any.
The Premier League-experienced 26-year-old Nigerian international Onyeka would make a strong successor to Gueye, but from a practical standpoint, the only way the team could sign him this month would be if their star player Onana were to go, which wouldn’t seem like a good thing.