Everton are looking to bring 20-year-old forward Henry Onyekuru back from his Anderlecht loan early, according to reports in Nigeria.
The Blues signed the Nigerian forward from Belgian side KAS Eupen for around £7 million during the early part of the summer transfer window but immediately sent him to Anderlecht on loan due to problems with gaining a work permit.
According to a report from SoccerNet Nigeria, Everton may argue that the 20-year-old falls into a ‘special talents’ bracket that allows players with work permit problems to join Premier League clubs, if the evidence from the signing club is sufficient enough to pass stringent requirements.
To receive a regular work permit, a player must have played in 75% of their national team’s recent games but Onyekuru only made his Super Eagles debut in June. With Nigeria also laying 44th in the FIFA Rankings, it would add credence to any potential ‘special talent’ work permit bid.
The ‘special talent’ argument has been used for Nigerian players coming to the Premier League in the past. Both John Obi Mikel and, more recently, Kelechi Iheanacho have been granted work permits as a ‘special talent.’
Whilst at KAS Eupen, Onyekuru finished as joint top scorer in the Belgian Pro League with 22 goals during the 2016/17 season and has carried his goal-scoring form into this season, finding the net five times in 11 games for the Purple and White.
Ronald Koeman’s sides inefficiency to find the net has seemingly sprung the Blues into action to start considering their options when it comes to potentially being able to recall Onyekuru early.
Blues need pace and goals
If the Blues’ argument to bring the Nigerian forward back early isn’t sufficient enough, they could be thwarted in their attempts to bring in a forward during the January window.
Koeman’s side desperately need a striker who can find the net on a regular basis but also provide pace in the forward lines.
The only forward the Blues have that falls into the requirements that Koeman is looking for is Oumar Niasse but following his performance in the 1-0 defeat to Burnley, the Senegalese forward showed he may just be better off as a super-sub.
Sandro Ramirez could be the answer for the Dutch boss but looks like he may need a goal before he is used on a regular basis. The Spanish forward, who joined from Malaga during the summer, is snatching at chances and has yet to show his potential class.
Onyekuru could be the answer but the Blues will have to wait until January to find out.
If Everton aren’t able to bring back the striker they already own, the Blues may be set to make a move for one they came close to owning during the summer.
Koeman’s side would be prepared to go back with a bid for Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud if the Frenchman is being under-utilised by Arsene Wenger’s side.
Koeman admitted during his most recent press conference that he thought Giroud was going to sign for the Toffees but the move was scuppered during the late stages.