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Batshuayi’s Monaco move stalling due to Everton interest

Can Everton do a gazumping?

Chelsea v Everton - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Get France Football has suggested that offers to acquire Michy Batshuayi by Everton and others has stalled the potential loan of the attacker to Monaco. Fiorentina wants the player on loan, Napoli wants to loan with an option to buy, and Everton wants to buy outright.

Batshuayi is looking for a new home after having his loan deal with Valencia was cut short after producing one La Liga goal and one Champions League goal in a little under 900 combined minutes.

However, Valencia is an absolute mess this year, not least of all in attack, and I do not think Michy’s loan being cut short should be laid at his feet. Valencia sits in 11th place (after finishing top four last season) and have only scored 17 goals. They are 11.86 goals behind their open play xG projection for the season (via Understat) in a phenomenally bad run of finishing for the entire club. Batshuayi, for his part, only accounted for -0.40 xG of that difference.

Over the last five years, Batshuayi is almost exactly one goal ahead of his xG projection. During his loan stint with Borussia Dortmund last season, he averaged 0.73 xG per game. For comparison, if he could put up that number in the Premier League it would be better than Alvaro Morata and Jamie Vardy, and very similar to Sergio Aguero.

I do not say that to create a false expectation for Michy. That number will probably come down some in a more difficult league on a team that - relative to its competition - is not as talented going forward as Dortmund is in the Bundesliga. However, if we are going to move for a striker, Batshuayi has the types of tools we should be looking for.

Until Batshuayi’s loan was terminated, he was not even on my radar of January options for Everton (why would he be?) and I was against the notion of us signing a striker this window. However, Michy could be a long term solution to the position (he’s only 25) at a reasonable price.

I think Everton has it well within their grasp to offer the best package here. He reportedly wants a move to Monaco, which makes sense given both his past success in Ligue One and also his past working relationship with Thierry Henry in the Belgian national team, but that move also keeps him on the career-killing treadmill that is Chelsea’s horribly stupid loan army.

Fiorentina is only offering a loan, and Napoli wants a loan with an option to buy, which is no guarantee. Everton is the club offering him a permanent home, and if we do not drag our feet this is a deal we can and should get done.