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Everton: Arnaut Danjuma deal can reignite McNeil

Everton are reportedly leading the race to sign the man who could save their season…

What’s the latest?

That’s according to Spanish publication El Periodico Mediterraneo, who claim that the Toffees are now showing the most interest in signing Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma.

The suggested deal would be an initial loan move with an option to purchase the player in the summer, which would reportedly suit all parties involved.

The Dutchman also hopes for a move to a ‘bigger club’ and having rejected West Ham United in the summer of 2021, this could be another case of a player choosing a move to Merseyside over the London Stadium, just as Amadou Onana did.

Reignite McNeil

Having only signed for the Spanish outfit in the aforementioned summer for a €25m (£22m) fee, it can be assumed that a permanent deal for Danjuma would not come cheap.

The 25-year-old has impressed since his move to the Yellow Submarine, having starred for AFC Bournemouth initially to earn the transfer.

He would score 17 times across the Championship and the playoffs, assisting a further seven in what would see him named in the divisions’ team of the season.

Then, in his debut season in Spain, he would continue his fine goalscoring form with a 16-goal haul, adding four assists to a season where he would reach the Champions League semi-finals.

As such, he has been dubbed a “nightmare for defenders” by former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips.

Boasting experience beyond most in the Goodison Park dressing room, and a proven track record in recent years of scoring big goals, he could be imperative in offering that lethal touch that manager Frank Lampard has been missing in the final third this season.

Could Danjuma keep Everton up?

Yes

Yes

No

No

His side have scored just 14 times in 18 Premier League games so far and unsurprisingly sit in the relegation zone.

Many of Lampard’s summer deals have fallen flat, with former Burnley winger Dwight McNeil disappointing, in particular.

The Rochdale-born dynamo only has two goals to his name this season, and as such has found himself in a permanent cycle of rotation with the other misfiring wingers at the club.

Perhaps the addition of such a “special” footballer, as lauded by former coach Adrie Bogers, could be the spark needed to reignite the 23-year-old, who only ranks in the bottom 35% of his positional peers across Europe for non-penalty expected goals.

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First up on the quiz: after what match was Rafa Benitez sacked?

He has proven in the past that he can be a reliable goal threat, offering eight goal contributions in just 21 games as a teenager back in 2018.

However, this return only came when faced with true competition in his position, as he battled with Aaron Lennon, Robbie Brady, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Ashley Westwood and more for the right to feature.

Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray have hardly offered that impetus, but Danjuma’s addition certainly would.