Everton in desperate need of reinforcements in their attacking threat after losing Richarlison to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer and Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s struggles to stay fit, which has led to what looks to be another difficult relegation scrap for the club over the second half of the season.
The Toffees are currently 18th in the Premier League after collecting just 15 points from a possible 54 in their first 18 games, with the third-worst goal tally in the entire division contributing to their plight.
Frank Lampard did have the opportunity to strengthen his forward line last summer by adding Dwight McNeil and Neal Maupay to the squad at Goodison Park, but it has quickly become clear that the attacking duo are not consistent and reliable goal contributors. Therefore, the current transfer window will likely be the manager’s last chance to get it right, with pressure mounting on his position at the club.
One player who has recently been linked with a move to Merseyside is Lorient forward Dango Ouattara, a talented young winger who could be the solution to Everton’s unfolding nightmare.
Across 16 Ligue One appearances this season, the 20-year-old – dubbed a “breakthrough” player by Robin Bairner – has scored five goals, registered four assists and created five big chances, along with averaging 1.2 key passes, 2.9 shots on goal, 1.1 interceptions, 2.1 tackles, 1.3 successful dribbles and a whopping 7.8 duels won per game.
Furthermore, Ouattara ranks in the top 10% of his positional peers across the top five European leagues over the last 12 months for tackles, interceptions, blocks, clearances and aerial duels, proving that he is not only potent in attack but one of the best performers defensively in his position.
The two tenacious forwards have shared many similarities in their output so far this season, including goals (5 v 6), shots on target rate (32.6% v 34.4%), progressive passes completed (35 v 33), goal-creating actions per 90 minutes (0.79 v 0.81) and dribble success rate (33.3% v 33.9%).
With that in mind, signing Ouattara – who has a price tag of £18m – would be a major coup for Everton, and if a deal can be done over the next few weeks, it could be a huge boost in their chances of surviving relegation over the second half of the season.