Everton have finally signed a striker with the physical stature to lead the line in the Premier League. After Neal Maupay’s shortcomings were starkly exposed last season and then again in the first three games of the new campaign, the Toffees have now made a signing that should make a difference up top.
Portuguese-born Norberto Bercique Gomes Betuncal, more commonly known as Beto, has made the switch from Udinese to Merseyside for €25 million (£21.4m), with up to €5m (£4.2m) in add-ons as well, signing a four-year deal.
The Toffees are off to the worst ever start to a season in the club’s 145-year history, losing three in a row without scoring. The Blues have created plenty of chances and should have won at home against Fulham and then Wolves at a canter, but the team’s collective failure to put the ball in the net even as injuries continued to mount sees them rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
Beto is a bulky 6’4” and his size will give Everton a large presence upfront in the opponent’s box who can hold up the ball and allow midfield runners to catch up, a big part of Sean Dyche’s attacking build-up this season.
Speaking during his signing, the 25-year-old said -
“When a club like Everton tries to buy you in January and then comes again in the summer, you feel like, ‘Okay, they want me for real’, so that made the decision easy for me as well. My idol, Samuel Eto’o, played here, too, which makes it even more special.
“I can bring courage, I can bring confidence and I think my biggest thing is effort. I will always bring enthusiasm to the team and to our games. I feel like my style is a really good fit with Everton.
“I am looking forward to getting started - today, right now. I know the team needs to score more goals and I will try to help with this. I love to score goals. I know we need this and I am here to help. I will always give my best to score goals.
“It feels really good to be here and I want to make my mark. Let’s do it.”
For his part, Dyche added -
“We have been eager to strengthen our striking options to add more attacking quality to our squad and the arrival of Beto gives us that.
“He has impressed in a top league like Serie A for the past two seasons and scored goals. As a powerful striker who can carry the ball, hold up play, is strong in the air and works hard for the team, he has a lot of attributes that we hope can see him prove to be a success with Everton.”
With just a couple of days remaining in the transfer window, the Blue will be hard pressed at this point to make any significant additions outside of the loan market.