Everton knew they desperately needed a quality back-up for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but they waited until very, very late in the window until they decided to make a move for Neal Maupay from Brighton & Hove Albion.
He did put in a good performance on debut against Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby, enough that Frank Lampard chose to keep Calvert-Lewin off the squad today against West Ham and the 26-year-old paid him back for the vote of confidence by grabbing the winner as Everton won 1-0 at home against former manager David Moyes.
Speaking after the game, Maupay was asked how much getting his first Toffees goal meant to him.
“It means a lot, obviously I’m very happy but first and foremost the win is the main thing for us. We’ve been good and playing well, and it was just a matter of time. I’m happy for the win, happy for my goal and hopefully we can build on it.”
Maupay went one better with his goal celebration than Toffees legend Tim Cahill as the Frenchman booted the corner flag in ecstasy in front of the Gwladys Street end.
“It was in the way really, like, good thing it was not a player, I wouldn’t have done the same!!”
The striker went on to walk us through his scoring attempt.
“Always the first touch is the key. We’ve got very good players in midfield and the wings. I trust them to make the difference. I have to be there to finish. Great pass from Alex [Iwobi], good first touch and a good goal, but I’m just happy for the team. It’s been coming. We had a very good week of training and we deserved it.”
Was Maupay feeling any additional pressure as a DCL replacement?
“I wouldn’t say I feel under pressure [to score]. I know my job I have to score. That’s why they brought me in. I needed that goal as I haven’t played much last month. In the end I wasn’t playing much for Brighton.
“Then I came here late and it was only my second game of the season. I needed this goal. I know everyone at the club want me to do well and score goals but I’m here to help. I trust my team-mates to put me in the right position to score.
“Two weeks ago when I didn’t score against Liverpool they all said it doesn’t matter, you played well, you gave everything, and that’s fine for us. Today I got the rewards and I’m just happy for them [my teammates].”