Everton supporters will probably be glued to their computers, phones, and televisions today, hoping for the announcement of a Sandro Ramirez signing, but in the interim, it appears a new Toffee might be coming aboard.
Though no news has come from Everton, the Dutch second-division side FC Volendam has posted a release on its website, claiming the Toffees have signed their 18-year-old defender Nathangelo Markelo. According to the release, Everton scouted the player both at FC Volendam’s U-19 matches and at the U-18 international level, where Markelo plays for the Netherlands.
According to the club’s site and the player’s page on transfermarkt.com, Markelo can play both center-back and right-back. The club’s announcement also suggested that Markelo was set to move to FC Volendam’s senior team next season before the Toffees stepped in.
Expect Markelo to slot into the defending PL2-champion Everton U-23 side at least for the first season of his time on Merseyside. Markelo is 18 years old (turns 19 in January) and has little to no experience at a top level of competition.
The U-23s will definitely need some help in defense if they want to defend their title, though.
Matthew Pennington is set to age out of the youth setup, and looks likely to compete for first-team places after signing a new contract. Mason Holgate spent most of last season with the senior team as well, and it seems unlikely that he’d step back down as well. Jonjoe Kenny will also likely make the move up to the senior team, at least until Seamus Coleman returns from injury.
For these reasons, Markelo may get significant playing time with David Unsworth’s youth side — of course, provided the player is really coming to Goodison and his old club hasn’t jumped the gun! If/when the club confirms the move, we’ll have the latest for you here on RoyalBlueMersey.
UPDATE 4:40pm, June 19th:
Everton has confirmed the signing of Nathangelo Markelo on its website. The player has signed a three-year deal that will keep him at Everton until the end of the 2019-20 season. Welcome aboard, Nathangelo!