Everton look to have gazumped West Ham to the capture of Lille midfielder Amadou Onana, with the player undertaking a medical after deal worth around £33M was agreed between the two clubs.
The powerful and highly coveted midfielder would be a welcome addition for boss Frank Lampard on the eve of the new campaign, as he looks to bolster his options in the centre of the pitch.
We take a look at what qualities the 20-year-old Belgian international would bring to the club...
To put it bluntly, a 6ft 5in powerhouse!
The Senegalese-born star built himself a reputation for breaking up play and bossing the midfield during a stellar breakthrough campaign for Lille last term.
He made 32 appearances for the French side, scoring once, and earning himself admirers across the continent with his athletic and no nonsense style of play.
Apparently, the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle United, Arsenal, Nottingham Forest and West Ham all registered interest this summer, but it appears that Everton are set to win the race for his signature.
A deal of around £33M has been agreed between the two clubs – a figure that does include potential add-ons.
You’d expect those to include additional payments to the French side based on appearances, internatonal success and if the Toffees were to secure continental qualification.
Not quite, as the £33M fee falls short of the £45M the club forked out for Gylfi Sigurdsson during the 2017/18 campaign.
Richarlison, who joined Tottenham Hotspur this summer, is another capture to have exceeded the £33M that Onana will cost, meaning the 20-year-old midfielder would likely take third place in the club’s record transfer list.
At just 20-years of age, Onana is a player for the now and the future.
You’d expect his potential arrival on Merseyside to strengthen an already strong Toffees midfield that also features England international Dele Alli, Tom Davies and Brazilian Allan.
Having come through the ranks at Anderlecht, Zulte Waregem and Hoffenhein, Onana made his professional debut for Bundesliga II side Hamburg in September 2020.
He came on as a second half substitute in a 4-1 defeat against Dynamo Dresden, but did manage to get himself on the scoresheet with a last minute consolation effort.
He went on to make 25 appearances for the club, before penning a five-year deal with Lille last summer.
Onana was born in Dakar, Senegal, to a Senegalese mother and a Cameroonian father.
However, it was in Belgium that he was brought up – starting his playing career within the youth set-up of Anderlecht.
He has represented Belgium at international level from Under 17s right through to the senior side – making his international debut in a UEFA Nations League clash with Netherlands in June this year.