Everton sign Belgian talent Amadou Onana in a €40m deal

Belgium international midfielder Amadou Onana has joined Everton in a deal worth up to €40m.

Everton saw off competition from West Ham to secure the powerful 20-year-old, who has signed a five-year deal at Goodison Park. The club will pay €36m plus €4m in add-ons to Lille, who signed Onana for almost £6m from Hamburg just a year ago, plus 20% of any future sale fee.

Onana is Everton’s fifth summer signing following the arrivals of Conor Coady, Dwight McNeil, Rúben Vinagre and James Tarkowski and represents a coup for manager Frank Lampard and director of football Kevin Thelwell given the growing talent interest. The central midfielder has cited the opportunity to work with Lampard as a factor in his decision to move to Merseyside.

“It feels great to join Everton,” said Onana. “I know it’s a big, big club, one of the biggest in England. It’s something I want to be a part of for many years. Everyone here showed that they really wanted me and that they have a plan for me, so I really appreciated the conversations I had with the coach and the director of football. They told me how they wanted me to play and I liked it. They both have a lot of ambition and that’s the kind of guy I am, so it matches.

“The manager was one of the big reasons. He played at the highest level, won a lot of things and was also a midfielder. It means a lot to have an interest in him and I think he can teach me a lot. Everton fans are amazing. I saw his support last season and it’s also one of the reasons why I chose Everton. I’m really looking forward to meeting them at Goodison and just hearing about the atmosphere gives me goosebumps. Blue is my favorite color too!”

Everton have satisfied the Premier League working with their profit and sustainability rules and are also trying to re-sign midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye from Paris Saint-Germain. Another striker is also a priority for Lampard with Dominic Calvert-Lewin out for six weeks with a knee injury.

Senegalese Onana was handed his Belgium debut against the Netherlands in June by former Everton manager Roberto Martinez. He added: “I think I can play in all central midfield positions, whether it’s as a starting midfielder or a box-to-box as a number 8. Wherever the manager needs me, I’ll play. I chose jersey #8 because I’m a big Kobe Bryant fan. His work ethic and the way he inspired me, so I’m happy to have that number at Everton.”

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Everton director of football Thewell said Onana is “one of the most sought-after young midfielders in Europe for a reason and has many attributes to benefit our team”. Lampard added: “Amadou is a player we were very keen to bring to Everton. He has a lot of great qualities to help strengthen our midfield and, at only 20 years old, he has huge potential to get even better. I spoke to him about why Everton was the right club for him and we’re all looking forward to him showing what he can bring to the team.”

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