Premier League • England

Everton transfer news: Richarlison successor finally found as talks are opened over £20m deal for Nigerian

Emmanuel Dennis, Watford forward, during Premier League game against Everton at Goodison Park

Everton are hoping to have settled on the man they hope can step into the unenviable shoes of Richarlison by opening talks over a deal for Emmanuel Dennis.

The Toffees only escaped relegation from the Premier League with a match to spare last season. Indeed, their 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace is a match that will live long in the memory in what was otherwise a bleak season. The comeback that night saw the inspired Richarlison net the equaliser. And the Brazilian really came to the fore when Everton needed him most during that relegation dogfight.

However, Everton’s struggles, coupled with the player’s wish to play at a higher level, saw Richarlison sacrificed. A £60m sale to Tottenham was hard to see, though the money generated from his sale certainly softened the blow.

And with finances tight at Goodison, it allows Everton the opportunity to further strengthen their squad.

However, new arrivals have been thin on the ground so far at Goodison. The Toffees have so far only managed to bring in James Tarkowski, the two-times capped England man signing on a free from Burnley.

Now, it seems Everton have finally settled on the man to step into Richarlison’s shoes in Dennis.

The Nigerian was one of the few shining lights in a difficult season for Watford. Signing from Club Brugges last summer, he finished the season with 10 goals and six assists from 33 appearances.

However, with the Hornets putting up a meek fight in the battle to beat the drop, Dennis is understandably keen to move on.

The likes of West Ham and Southampton were both reportedly on his trail. However, the Hammers have instead settled on Gianluca Scamacca – who is more of an out-and-out centre forward.

Saints, meanwhile, have swooped to bring in France U21 forward Sekou Mara instead.

Talks underway for Emmanuel Dennis transfer to Everton

Now, as per the Daily Express, Everton are in the driving seat to secure the signing of Dennis.

They have opened preliminary talks with his agent Drew Uyi.

The Hornets are reportedly seeking a fee of around £20m for the 24-year-old, which the Toffees appear willing to meet.

Everton do need to be prudent with the money they spend this summer but they would struggle to find better value for money than Dennis.

The seven-times capped Nigeria forward brought himself to Everton’s attention by scoring in Watford’s 5-2 victory at Goodison back last October.

He maintained his excellent form throughout the campaign, despite a general lack of quality around him.

Frank Lampard will hope he can push on to a higher level at Goodison and help the club to a higher finish were he to sign.

Meanwhile, Lampard continues to ponder the best course of action for Dele Alli. He has struggled since signing from Tottenham, failing to score or register an assist in 11 games.

As such, the Toffees are reportedly willing to offload Dele to avoid a costly payment structure agreed with Spurs.