Everton beat West Ham to sign midfielder Ahmadou Onana from Lille

Everton have completed the acquisition of Amadou Onana from LOSC Lille in France’s Ligue 1.

With his ball-carrying ability, the highly rated 20-year-old can play anywhere in central midfield but is best suited for the defensive midfield spot that the Blues have had a vacancy in for a few years now.

The Toffees and West Ham United had competed for the midfielder, with both Premier League clubs reaching Lille’s price. Despite the fact that the Blues are in European competition this year, it was believed that Onana decided to join them because they offered a higher compensation structure and maybe more playing chances.

While the transfer cost has not been formally announced, Belgian reports seem to imply it is for €36 million (£30.4 million), with €4 million (£3.4 million) in add-ons and Lille receiving 20% on any future sales.

The footballer was born in Senegal and grew up in Belgium before joining Hoffenheim’s development system in Germany. He joined Hamburger SV in the summer of 2020 and was impressed with his performances for the 2. Bundesliga club before going to LOSC last summer for €6 million and signing a five-year contract.

He made his Belgium national team debut earlier this summer under Roberto Martinez, and the former Everton boss gushed about his new star. He is the first Belgian to play for Chelsea since Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas left.

At his signing, Onana said –

“I’m delighted to be joining Everton.” I know it’s a huge club, one of the largest in the country. It’s something I’d want to be a part of for a long time.

“Everyone here demonstrated that they really wanted me and that they had a plan for me, so I really liked the discussions I had with the manager and Director of Football [Kevin Thelwell].” They informed me how they wanted me to play, and I had a good time.

“They both have a lot of ambition, which is the sort of man I am, so it works.” One of the major causes was the management. He played at the highest level, won several awards, and was also a midfielder. It means a lot to have his attention, and I believe he can teach me a lot.

“The Everton supporters are incredible.” Last season, I witnessed their support, and that was one of the reasons I selected Everton. I’m excited to meet them at Goodison Park, and just thinking about the atmosphere gives me chills.

“Blue is also my favorite color!” I will offer all I have for the Club and its fans.”

Kevin Thelwell, Director of Football, said –

“We are thrilled to conclude Amadou’s signing and to have him commit his long-term career to Everton.”

“He is one of Europe’s most sought-after young midfielders for a reason, and he has numerous qualities that can enhance our club.” We believe he will be a popular player among Evertonians for many years to come.”

Frank Lampard, manager of the Toffees, added:

“I spoke to him about why Everton was the appropriate club for him, and we’re all excited to see what he can add to the squad.”

With this deal and the return of former Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye, it seems that the Blues have filled the deficiencies in the center, for the time being, leaving the striker position to be solved. Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be sidelined for at least six weeks, with veteran Salomon Rondon serving as his sole acknowledged backup. Ellis Simms and Lewis Dobbin have both been loaned away, leaving just Dele Alli in the team with any history of playing at the position.

The Blues have been connected with bids for Chelsea duo Armando Broja and Billy Gilmour, while the Toffees have been linked with Wolves skipper Conor Coady in recent days.

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