Everton must consider their pursuit of Brazilian forward Tete despite a major transfer development on Thursday afternoon.
French Ligue 1 side Lyon have completed a move for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Tetê, who has signed on an initial loan, but according to their technical director Vincent Ponsot, they are also looking to sign him permanently.
“Tetê has joined until the end of the season,” announced Ponsot. “We are also working on things over the medium term because we would like him to stay past the end of the season. He’s a top-level recruit for us. I would like to thank his entourage.”
The news comes just a couple days after 90min reported that the Toffees had joined the race for the Brazilian, with Southampton at the time believed to be in driving seat.
However, with the player currently on on loan, there is still hope of a deal being done this summer with a suitor like Everton.
The club’s financial situation could force them into spending smart in the summer, as well as selling a number of their key players in order to facilitate a much-need rebuild.
With the club currently sitting in 17th in the Premier League standings, they have severely underachieved, and manager Frank Lampard will surely be desperate for mass changes ahead of next season.
Richarlison is one of the players linked with a big-money move away from Goodison Park, however, Tete could be the ideal replacement.
Valued at £18m according to Transfermarkt, the forward had scored nine goals and assisted one more in the Ukrainian top flight, making 17 appearances including 11 from the start before the season ended due to the Russian invasion of the country.
The 22-year-old, who has scored 31 times for Shakhtar, will be available for cheaper in the summer, particularly if the invasion continues, and with Everton struggling financially, a cut-price option is something that Lampard and Farhad Moshiri will love.
Making 0.93 goal contributions per 90 minutes in Ukraine, he has bettered Richarlison’s total considerable, who has managed to make just 0.39 goal contributions per 90 minutes in the Premier League.
Admittedly, the quality of the two leagues are vastly different, but there is no denying his ability – having torn Real Madrid apart almost 18 months ago in Shakhtar’s 3-2 Champions League group stage victory in the 2020/21 season, in which he scored a “stunning” goal as well as setting up another.
Described as “very talented” by scout Jacek Kulig, he could save the Toffees plenty of money on a potential replacement for Richarlison, bringing more skill, pace and direct running that will get the Goodison Park faithful on their feet for the first time in what feels like a very long time.
They will, however, now need to battle hard to rival Lyon for a permanent acquisition in a few months.