Everton are finally set to solve their centre-forward crisis, if reports are to be believed…
What’s the word?
According to respected journalist Alan Myers, the Toffees are pushing hard to sign Brighton and Hove Albion striker Neal Maupay.
He issued the following update on Twitter: “Neal Maupay is close to joining Everton from Brighton. Still work to do to complete the deal but talks at an advanced stage”.
A morning update has suggested that the deal has accelerated and the French striker is now completing his medical on Merseyside.
Frank Lampard has been searching for a solution for his toothless team, who have scored just one league goal for themselves so far this term; and with reports earlier this month stating that he wanted a striker with Premier League experience, this deal makes sense as the 26-year-old is available for a reported £14m.
He’s the Richarlison heir
Everton lost 2021/22 top scorer Richarlison earlier in the summer, and the Brazil star offered much more than goals to a struggling Toffees side.
His infectious personality and knack to frustrate the opposition made him a favourite among many Evertonians and despised by other fan bases. The “maverick” Maupay – himself no stranger to winding up opposition supporters – could quickly fill this role at Goodison Park.
Will Neal Maupay be a success at Everton?
Also, with eight league goals last season, the French forward was only a couple shy of Richarlison’s ten-goal return.
The Brazilian had to deputise up front in the absence of the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin, having chiefly played out wide in previous campaigns. To bring Maupay to Goodison Park for this role will finally see a natural and reliable starting number nine at the club, again brought in to fill the void left by the injured England international.
The 26-year-old would likely be a big hit on Merseyside, and his intelligence up front would serve Lampard’s new regime well. He ranked in the top 10% for pressures per 90, suggesting that he could also help get his team further up the pitch with his relentless work rate.
Not only would Maupay likely bring plenty of goals, having scored at least at least eight in each of his last three seasons, he can carry the ball and create chances for his side as well. He is successful in 51% of his dribbles, and averaged 0.7 key passes per 90 last season.
It would also end the recent experiment of deploying either a winger in Anthony Gordon or an unreliable striker in Salomon Rondon at centre-forward for Everton.
Maupay would easily replace the charm and cheekiness of Richarlison, and the figures suggest that his goal output would be similar to the Brazilian.
He appears to be the natural heir to Spurs’ summer signing in personality and skill, and signing him will finally see Lampard find his coveted centre-forward solution.