Sean Dyche could ditch Dominic Calvert-Lewin by splashing the cash on this “special” forward.
Everton have endured a relatively poor start to the season with fears of another relegation battle surfacing. With that said, Sean Dyche could use the January window as an opportunity to bring in reinforcements, should they find themselves in a position of peril…
Who could Everton sign in January?
In recent times, Everton have suffered a rather chequered history in the transfer window, unearthing some gems but more often than not, pushing their finger on the self-destruct button.
Since Farhad Moshiri took over the club, their failings in the transfer window have seen them drop down the Premier League table at an alarming rate, however, if a deal involving Miami-based company 777 Partners can get concluded in the coming weeks, a current bleak narrative can be transformed into a brighter future at Goodison Park.
With potential fresh investment from 777 Partners in the offing, Dyche could be offered a significant boost in funds, allowing the manager to splash the cash. While Blackburn’s highly-rated midfielder Adam Wharton is one name that refuses to go away, Everton’s priority could be capturing another forward which could see them go back in for Paris Saint Germain’s Hugo Ekitike after their summer interest and allow Dyche to ditch Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
How has Dominic Calvert-Lewin performed for Everton?
Calvert-Lewin’s recent Everton career has seen him fail to kick on and reach the ceiling of his potential.
The Englishman was threatening to become a world-beater, possessing the killer instinct in front of goal that the Toffees have desired, but since chalking up 21 goals in the 2020/21 campaign, his time at the club has unravelled into a nightmare.
To no fault of his own, the 26-year-old has endured an injury-ravaged spell which has seen him muster only ten goals in all competitions since that sensational campaign.
Despite showing promise in the first five matches of this term with two goals, the 6 foot 2 marksman has fallen short across Europe’s top five leagues in the past year when comparing his forward-thinking metrics, ranking in the top 87% for non-penalty goals and shot creating actions, top 79% for goals, top 60% for total shots and top 47% for progressive carries, all per 90 via FBref.
On the other hand, Everton target Ekitike has showcased several attributes that suggest he could be an upgrade on Calvert-Lewin.
How good is Hugo Ekitike?
Ekitike broke onto the scene at Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims in 2021 and impressed with his lightning pace, piercing movement in behind and how intelligently he reacted to situations.
The promising French striker, who posted 14 direct goal contributions in his first senior campaign in 2021/22, caught the eye of several European powerhouses, while Newcastle United were reportedly in advanced talks to sign him for £33m in January 2022 following their takeover.
Although the Magpies failed to get a deal over the line, he instead joined giants Paris Saint Germain on a loan deal with an option to buy six months later, however, he has failed to kick on since then, perhaps crumbling under the weight of expectation.
In 25 appearances last term, Ekitike only mustered three goals and four assists, but given he was previously unhappy in France, a change of scenery could see the 21-year-old light the Premier League touch paper, and return to the form that saw him make a sharp rise to stardom.
During his first campaign at Reims in 2021/22, the “very special” forward – as dubbed by manager at the time, Oscar Garcia – showcased his unerring talents across that campaign, as per FBref, ranking in the top 5% for non-penalty goals against his positional peers in Ligue 1, top 7% for shots on target, 12% for carries into the penalty and top 15% for assists per 90.
He even weighed in with his fair share of defensive work too, which is a huge staple of any Dyche side, finishing in the top 12% for clearances, top 14% for tackles, top 18% for shots blocked and top 20% for interceptions.
Possessing the physicality to compete in the English game and the turn of pace to frighten defenders, the £18m (€21.6m) rated Ekitike, as per Football Transfers, could be a huge upgrade on Calvert Lewin, not just for the qualities he would bring in the final third, but also the fact that age is on his side and he has plenty of years to develop into a proficient forward capable of firing the Toffees to victories.