Kevin Thelwell’s remit as Director of Football is pretty clear - in the short term, keep Everton competitive in the Premier League; for the longer term, reduce the club’s wage bill and average squad age while improving the talent and depth.
The signings that have come through the door so far during this summer transfer window has reflected that mix of players. James Tarkowski and Conor Coady address the glaring weakness of the defensive corps, while Dwight McNeil, Amadou Onana and Ruben Vinagre are all exciting young players that Frank Lampard can build around in years ahead.
While the Blues still need to do more in terms of bringing in attacking help for the oft-injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the rarely-effective Salomon Rondon, they have certainly gone a long way towards addressing the need for more skill and talent in the middle of the park today.
As multiple media sources are now confirming the news broken earlier by Football Insider, Everton are close to signing the exciting 22-year-old attacking midfielder Mohamed Kudus from Ajax Amsterdam on loan, with an option for an outright purchase at the end of the season.
The Ghana international has 5 goals for the Black Stars in just 16 caps, and has been frustrated by the lack of playing opportunities afforded to him at the Dutch side where he is yet to become a regular starter.
He featured in 25 games for Ajax last season, but made the most impact in 16 games where he lined up as a CAM scoring 8 times with 1 assist. Kudus had missed a big chunk of his debut season in the Eredivisie (joining from Nordsjaelland in Denmark) with a knee injury, and has struggled to get game time since. However, when he has been on the pitch, his electric pace and dribbling have certainly been on show in breaking the press.
Everton have been sorely missing a playmaker in the middle of the park, and while Kudus will need some time to settle in and get used the faster and more physical nature of the Premier League, he is certainly an exciting prospect with an extremely high ceiling that could make a big difference for the Toffees. Dele Alli was brought in to do exactly that in January, but for reasons unexplained, has failed to make the kind of impact he had at Tottenham and is likely on his way out of the club with Besiktas interested in bringing him in.
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