Everton’s transfer window has burst into life during the last 24 hours with Rafa Benitez finally getting to work in the market.
Andros Townsend has arrived on a free transfer to bolster their wide options while Asmir Begovic has signed as a back-up in the goalkeeping department.
With Richarlison and James Rodriguez mooted as potential departures from Goodison Park this summer, Benitez needs to continue searching for offensive players in the window.
Demarai Gray has been a name on their shortlist but another name has now come to the centre of their attention.
According to The Athletic, Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze is interesting Everton.
They suggest that the Toffees have ‘extensively assessed and have garnered positive feedback’ on the 22-year-old.
However, they will hope to negotiate a lower fee than his buy-out clause of £55m.
Chukwueze’s numbers for goals and assists don’t point to an enormously productive player but judging by his talent and ability, he’d be a wonderful capture for Everton.
The youngster has immense potential and showed against Arsenal in last season’s Europa League that he can dominate Premier League defences.
He limped off injured in the second leg of the semi-final between the two teams but was a rampant threat in the first match.
He is a wily character who is capable of tormenting even the very best defenders. He recorded 2.4 dribbles per match in Europe last term, a number that usurps every player at Goodison.
Described as “exciting” by ex-footballer Mutiu Adepoju, he’s also rapid. He’s been recorded at a speed of 34.58 km/h which would put him among the quickest players in Benitez’s side. For context, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been tracked at 35.1 km/h.
With dribbling and speed as eye-catching as that, he could whip up a storm in offensive areas for Everton.
Quotes from West Brom defender Semi Ajayi also put him in a particularly good light. He once said:
“I’m on the B team [at Nigeria], not in the starting lineup, and Samuel Chukwueze is in my team and he destroyed the whole first team on his own, just give him the ball, he kept destroying them to the point the coach changed his mind, that he doesn’t think it’s three at the back, it won’t work.
“These times, the pitch that we were on, one pitch in Asaba, the pitch is terrible, anyone that plays for Nigeria would tell you how bad the pitch is, you cannot dribble on it.
“Chukwueze got the ball at his feet, dribbling around people as it’s nothing, like he’s playing at Old Trafford.”
With 17 senior career goals to his name, he does need to improve in that department but that will come with time. At the moment, he is still an incredibly dangerous player.
Supporters should relish a potential opportunity to see him in Merseyside next season.