More media sources are claiming that Amadou Onana is the most probable departure from Everton during this summer transfer window.
This will not come as a surprise to Blues fans after almost constant speculation about his future over the last few months of the season and since it’s conclusion.
Onana has had an up and down first year or so at Everton with some sparkling performances mixed in with very ordinary ones too.
For some, the jury is still out on the player who cost around £30 million when he joined the club last summer.
His signing was seen as a bit of a coup for the Toffees as the Belgian midfielder was considered one of the best young players around in his position and was attracting interest from several English clubs.
He has at times seemed a little lost in his debut Premier League season and early on appeared to find it tough to get adjusted to the pace and frenetic nature of England’s top flight.
But, his size and athelticism and abiltiy to operate either as a defensive or more dynamic, box-to-box player, make him the archtype of a modern midfielder.
This factor though was part of the reason perhaps why he hasn’t always seemed comfortable in the team.
Frank Lampard, the man who signed him, didn’t seem to know exactly where to play him and moved him around sometimes asking him to sit in a deeper number six position and other times having him in a more advanced role.
Since Sean Dyche took over as manager, Onana has also been in and out of the side with the 21-year-old used more as a substitute towards the end of the campaign, contributing to a feeling he might not be in the long-term plans of the new boss.
Although he has had his critics and is obviously still young and a little rough around the edges, there are several other Premier League clubs who have alledgedly shown interest in him, most often Chelsea, Manchester United and now Arsenal too.
If any of these rumours turns out to have any substance to it, then a bid of around £50-60 million is almost certainly going to be very hard for Everton to resist.
The club’s financial position has been parlous to say the least after years of spending on players and managers and accumilated debts from the Covid period.
And, after the continuing restructuring at board level and with new investment from MSP Capital confirmed, it is still not clear whether one of the club’s playing assests will have to be sacrificed to fund any new signings, as happened with Richarlison last year.
If so, that means really only Onana or Jordan Pickford as clearly none of the other squad members is going to fetch a sizable sum.
Of the two I would prefer it was Onana as although I think he will become a good player, Pickford is the more essential and the harder to replace.