A player Everton have been linked with previously appears to be back in the conversation for the Blues, with West Ham United watching closely as well. Leander Dendoncker, the 22-year-old defensive midfielder for Anderlecht, had been mentioned all summer long for a possible move to the Blues, but over this January transfer window it’s former Blues manager David Moyes who has been doing the chasing for the player.
Interestingly enough, the player’s agent is Christophe Henrotay, someone who the Toffees have a very good working relationship with - he is also the agent for Kevin Mirallas who just left for Olympiakos on loan, and helped broker the summer sign-and-loan deal for forward Henry Onyekuru.
Something that was expected to pop-up, seen the good relationships: West Ham watched him, but Leander Dendoncker has been offered to Everton too. An Onyekuru scenario: buy him and loan him back to Anderlecht? #efc #whufc pic.twitter.com/4Ma9tem3CX— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) January 26, 2018
Everton need a long-term solution at the problematic defensive midfielder position. Morgan Schneiderlin is proving day-by-day that his lack of vision there is causing a serious disconnect between the midfield and forward ranks. Idrissa Gueye can run all day and all night if needed, but doesn’t have the necessary attacking ability or passing breadth to play as a sole DM. James McCarthy, Tom Davies, and Muhamed Besic are all stop-gaps but none of them are the solution.
With this season for all means and purposes being ‘lost’, if Everton can get Dendoncker and loan him back to Anderlecht, that might work best for all concerned parties. The Blues had already made a £15m bid for the midfielder in June when Atletico Madrid and Manchester United interested in the player. At the time, the Belgian club had placed a £31m price tag on him in the face of that interest.
The player is on contract with Anderlecht until 2021, and has been with the club for all his professional career since 2012. He has 32 Belgian youth international caps with 2 goals, and has 4 senior caps, having made his debut in the summer of 2015. Dendoncker was on the bench for most of Belgium’s successful World Cup qualification campaign under another former Everton manager Roberto Martinez, and is widely expected to be in the squad traveling to Russia this summer.