- Everton were in negotiations to sign a £25m striker during the summer transfer window.
- He boasts more potential than Beto and would have made for a fantastic signing at Goodison Park.
- The player in question scores every two games at club level.
Everton were met with a frenetic finish to the summer transfer window, with several key comings and goings reshaping Sean Dyche’s squad at the early stage of a crucial Premier League campaign.
Who did Everton sign?
The Toffees were linked with a wealth of attacking talent over the past few months after narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League last season, with a Goodison Park victory over Bournemouth on the final day of the term relegating Leicester City in their stead.
Finishing as the division’s second-lowest scorers, Dyche understandably focused on the reshaping of the frontline, with the misfiring woes compounded by talisman Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s incessant injury setbacks, missing 21 matches since the start of last season.
Versatile veteran Ashley Young has completed a free transfer, Arnaut Danjuma and Jack Harrison have arrived on loan, and forwards Youssef Chermiti and Beto have been signed to offer a new frontal focal point, the former deemed one for the future and the latter expected to lead the line for much of the campaign.
However, a certain El Bilal Toure also needed to be signed after links during the summer.
How good is El Bilal Toure?
With Calvert-Lewin’s fitness levels unreliable, Beto’s £30m acquisition from Serie A side Udinese was viewed as imperative to combat the dismal start to the campaign that has seen three league losses preceding an away draw against newly-promoted Sheffield United.
It all could have been so different, though. Earlier in the transfer window, Dyche’s outfit were fiercely pursuing the signature of Malian striker El Bilal Toure, who had just enjoyed a tremendous breakout year with Spanish side Almeria, posting seven goals and two assists from just 15 starting LaLiga appearances.
While the Premier League club were in advanced negotiations in July, it was Italian team Atalanta who won the race, offering the player European football and a starring role as Rasmus Hojlund’s replacement, with the Danish striker joining Manchester United in a £72m deal this summer.
Also with five goals from 15 international caps, the 21-year-old has been described as a “major talent” by 90min’s Graeme Bailey, and given that he ranks among the top 4% of forwards across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for clearances and the top 24% for aerial wins per 90, as per FBref, looks to fit the mould of forward Everton desire.
Also boasting a scoring rate of 0.50 – effectively netting once every two games – Bilal Toure clearly offers a rising striking skill set that will only develop as he rises to prominence; for reference, Hojlund boasts a scoring rate of 0.46 per game.
Beto scores at a rate of 0.30, and while he does rank among the top 11% of forwards for successful take-ons and the top 10% for clearances per 90, likely does not hold the same level of potential as his younger peer.
Ultimately, the Toffees missed out, and the £10k-per-week phenom penned a £25m deal with Atalanta. While the fates have laid waste to the young gem’s season, suffering a severe tendon injury to rule him out of contention for many months, such does not negate the quality at his feet.
Beto scored on his Everton debut in the Carabao Cup against League Two strugglers Doncaster Rovers and impressed during the 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane, hailed by The Athletic’s Patrick Boyland for his “fantastic” hold-up play and ability to send “defenders sprawling to the turf” with his brutish physicality.
At no criticism to the Portuguese talisman, the “impressive” Bilal Toure – as praised by James Dodd – boasts the qualities to soar right to the top, and as he rises to the fore after recovering from injury in Italy, his prolific exploits might receive a rueful gaze from those over at Goodison Park.