Everton’s search for a new striker seems to have gone on for an inordinately long time. Neal Maupay was added to the squad during last summer’s transfer window, and his futility in finding the back of the net was only matched by the club’s inability to add a centre forward in the January transfer window and then in the last two months as well.
However that looks to be at an end now, with youngster Youssef Chermiti now close to joining the Blues. Credit is certainly due to the club’s scouting for finding and securing the striker who has not been on anyone’s radar in the week’s leading up to this. While the Toffees were being linked with higher-profile names, it appears the club has quietly gone about their business and procured a striker whose name consistently comes up on lists of teenaged players to watch.
The 19-year-old only made his breakthrough this last season as Sporting CP turned in a giant-killing act dumping then-league leaders Arsenal out of the Europa League before losing closely to Juventus. He ended the campaign with 971 minutes played in 22 appearances, scoring three times with two assists, all in the Portuguese league.
Reports from earlier Tuesday indicated that the player had arrived in the United Kingdom for his medical yesterday, which is expected to be a formality as the player has no major injuries in his short footballing career so far.
Players need to be registered by lunchtime today (Thursday) to be eligible to play on Saturday, but it's not clear if that got done.
Chermiti is already 6’4” at just 19 years of age, and will have an opportunity to fill out his shoulders and become even more physically imposing, In our scouting report of the striker, we noted that while the Rafael Leao comparisons seem obvious, in many ways the teenager is actually ahead of the AC Milan forward and has a sky-high potential if nurtured well by the Blues.
He will likely be introduced to the fans this weekend during Everton’s season opener against Fulham. Even though he should be registered by Thursday which should make him eligible to play against Marco Silva’s side on Saturday at Goodison Park, it wouldn’t really be like Sean Dyche to throw him straight into action without having gone through a conditioning stint and practices with the rest of the first team squad.