‘Massive potential’: Everton complete Amadou Onana transfer in £33m deal from Lille

Everton beat off competition from West Ham to sign the 20-year-old midfielder, who has signed a five-year contract

Richard Jolly
Senior football correspondent
Tuesday 09 August 2022 13:00 BST
Amadou Onana becomes Everton’s biggest signing of the summer
Amadou Onana becomes Everton’s biggest signing of the summer (BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

Everton have made their second signing in as many days and the biggest buy of Frank Lampard’s reign by bringing in the Lille midfielder Amadou Onana for £33 million.

They beat off competition from West Ham for the Belgium international, who has signed a five-year contract at Goodison Park.

Onana, who passed a medical on Merseyside at the weekend, said he wanted to learn from Lampard, one of the finest midfielders of his generation.

“It feels great to join Everton. I know it’s a big, big club, one of the biggest in England,” Onana said. “It’s something I want to be part of for many years. The manager was one of the big reasons. He played at the highest level, won many things and was a midfielder, too. It means a lot to have interest from him and I think he can teach me many things.”

Lampard had taken Wolves captain Conor Coady on loan for the season on Monday, adding to his earlier summer signings of centre-back James Tarkowski, left-back Ruben Vinagre and winger Dwight McNeil.

However, he had been keen to strengthen the midfield after the summer departure of Fabian Delph and Everton also hope to re-sign Idrissa Gueye from Paris Saint-Germain.

Lampard, who believes Onana has “massive potential”, reckons the 20-year-old can play as a defensive midfielder or in a more advanced role.

And Onana said: “I think I can play every position in centre midfield, whether that’s as a holding midfielder or a box-to-box as a No. 8. That said, wherever the manager needs me, I will play there.

“I chose the No. 8 shirt because I am a big fan of Kobe Bryant. His work ethic and the way he was inspired me so I’m happy to have that number at Everton.”

Manager Lampard added: “Amadou is a player we were really keen to bring to Everton. He has many great qualities to help strengthen our midfield and, at just 20 years old, has massive potential to get even better.”

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