Everton agree £22m deal for young starlet but face stiff competition from Premier League relegation rival

Ben Stewart
Ghana's Fatawu Issahaku and Kamaldeen Sulemana look dejected after being eliminated from the World Cup

Everton have agreed a £22million deal for Kamaldeen Sulemana, although they still face competition from a fellow Premier League side who are interested.

Sean Dyche is keen on strengthening Everton’s forward options with the club currently 19th in the league. The Toffees have scored just 15 goals so far and are in need of more creativity.

With Dyche expected to play his favoured 4-4-2 formation at Everton, it makes sense that they are looking at wingers.

Following the departure of Anthony Gordon, Everton only have the likes of Dwight McNeil and Demarai Gray to rely on in the wide areas.

According to the Daily Mail, Everton have agreed a £22million deal with Rennes, although Southampton have also had a bid accepted.

Therefore whoever offers the more attractive contract is likely to land the 20-year-old. Sulemana has featured in 18 games this season, although the majority of his appearances have come from the bench.

He has scored one goal and produced two assists for Rennes this season. While those numbers aren’t huge, he is averaging a goal contribution every 167 minutes which is decent going.

Sulemana also featured for Ghana at the World Cup as he made two substitute appearances. He was signed by Rennes last season and did well in his debut campaign.

During 2021-22 he averaged 2.7 dribbles per game, which is significantly more than any Everton player has managed this season.

In fact, no Everton player has averaged more than one dribble per game this year. A new dynamic wide man could change their fortunes immensely.

Everton’s survival chances

Dyche will be well aware of the situation he is walking into at Goodison Park. As things stand Everton are projected to pick up just 28 points this season.

Deadline day will prove to be their last opportunity to strengthen their squad ahead of the second half of the season.

They have also been linked with a move for Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, although they face stiff competition from elsewhere.

Upon taking the job, Dyche told the club website: “Our aim is to put out a team that works, that fights and wears the badge with pride. The connection with the fans can then grow very quickly because they’re so passionate.

“There is quality in this squad. But we have to make them shine. That’s the job of me and my staff. We want to change the shape of this club going forward, remodel it in our style, but in a way that we can win.

“That’s the task in front of us – make sure we’re building, tactically and technically, giving players organisation, allow them the freedom to play, to go and enjoy their football because it’s brilliant when the team’s playing with a smile, but we’ve got to win.”

The new manager will be thrown straight into it as his first two games are up against Arsenal and Liverpool. As things stand his side are two points from safety.

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