On Monday we reported that Olympiakos was set to swoop in and sign David Henen before Everton could ink the young Belgian. Well it happened. But the Blues were able to secure a last minute loan deal for the player from his new club. Henen will join up with the under-21squad. The whole saga was quite unusual considering that the eighteen year-old winger had been in Merseyside on an extended tryout and it was believed that he would leave his parent club, Anderlecht to join the Toffees on a permanent basis. Talks of his signing seemed to drag on forever due to Anderlecht reportedly asking £3 million for the player when Roberto Martinez only valued him at £1.5 million. In the end, the Greek club met the Belgian side's demands and was able to secure his future services with the understanding that he would remain with Everton this season.
Henen is another of many talented young players to recently come out of Belgium. He can play all of the forward positions including striker but most often plays on the wings. Winger will also be the position that he will likely be tasked with on the under-21 squad. He spent his youth career with Belgian sides Virton, Standard Liège and Anderlecht before moving to France on loan and playing for Monaco's B squad last season. He has also represented his country at each age level from U-15 through U-18 impressing many while playing with each squad and tallying fourteen goals for his country.
So what does this deal mean for Everton? Considering that we're talking in terms of the senior squad; the answer is not much. Henen, while undoubtedly talented is still a young, raw player who's skills needs refining and more physical development before playing in England's top league. Like we have heard time and again from players who are new to the Premier League, the game is much more fast-paced and physical than other leagues. Unless Roberto Martinez is forced to play him through injury, he likely will spend the whole year with the under-21 squad - unless he demonstrates that he is something beyond extraordinary.
That's the sad thing about this deal - we'll be able to watch the player grow with the development squad this year only to know that he probably won't be at Goodison Park in the future when he is first team ready. These odd things happen all the time around signing day and you never know who you'll have on your squad until the ink has dried and the league approves the move. We also do not know what the future holds. There is always the possibility that he impresses Martinez so much that they will make a move at the end of the season to keep the player.
Again, there is the possibility that Henen could join the first team at some point this season whether is be through exemplary play or injuries to starters remains to be seen. Right now he would be behind several of the club's top flight players such as Kevin Mirallas, Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu and Aiden McGeady among others as the manager continues to rotate the squad and player positions. If he does manage to crack the Everton first team this season, he will join fellow countrymen Romelu Lukaku and Mirallas.