Man United latest link as powerful midfielder’s Everton future in doubt

Everton (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) /

Manchester United are the latest Premier League club to be alledgedly interested in a summer move for Everton midfielder Amadou Onana.

The former Lille starlet who only joined the Toffees last summer as one of Frank Lampard’s signings, has been the subject of repeated rumours regarding his future for a while now.

Onana has performed well at times for Everton, although there have also been games, particularly early on, where the pace of the league has appeared to pass him by a little and he has been frustratingly inconsistent as well.

At his best, the powerful and athletic Belgian international has exhibited all the tools and attributes of a modern day midfielder.

His strength, passing, tackling and ability to run with the ball make him an archetype of the sort of footballer the Blues have desperately needed in the middle of the park for so long.

He has been in the team regularly since joining, although he wasn’t a starter in the remakable 5-1 thrashing of Brighton on Monday night.

He can operate as a deep-lying defensive player or play in a more advanced role. That versatiltiy though has perhaps been part of the reason why his time on Merseyside has not been a complete success.

To be fair, he is still very young and relatively inexperienced despite having already captained his country recently.

In order to sign Onana, Lampard and Everton had to beat several other suitors including West Ham who at one point looked like they would win the race for him.

But, the Blues managed to pursude him to reject a move to east London and instead to come to Goodison Park for around £20 million.

That was a considerable amount for a club that was working with very tight transfer budgets and despite his obvious talent, perhaps that money should have gone on a striker instead.

Anyway, Onana has been one of the ‘three musketeers’ in midfield alongside Idrisa Gueye and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Those three proved critical in Sean Dyche’s early teams and they provided a solid base for the side as it picked up twelve points in his first nine games.

Onana’s ability, youth and rising international profile meant he was likely to be of interest to other clubs and rumours started circulating soon enough.

Chelsea have been linked with him but now Manchester United are apparently also keeping tabs on the 21-year-old.

It does seem increasingly likely that whatever happens over the next few weeks of the season, the Belgian star may well leave Everton this summer.

If the Blues’ are relegated that is of course certain and for a significantly reduced fee too.

Were the Toffees to survive, then they could command a considerable amount for a player who signed a five-year contract just under a year ago.

Regardless of the outcome of this latest battle against the drop, Everton will probably have to sell in order to buy this summer, assuming there are no consequences to the investigation taking place into the club’s finances like a transfer ban.

If they do sell him it makes holding onto a player like Doucoure, who offers similar qualities, even more important.

Onana leaving after only a year would be a blow given his potential, but another reminder of just how far the Blues have sunk in recent seasons.