Sunday, January 29, 2023

Everton Want To Recall In-Form 20 Y/O From Loan Spell: Can He Save Their Crippling Season?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

On-loan Everton striker Henry Onyekuru has been in terrific form so far this season for Anderlecht. The Nigerian’s recent performances have seen a whole host of clubs lining up to secure his services. His parent club, on the other hand, have struggled in front of goal this season and are currently ranked 16th in the Premier League standings.

The Toffees have just scored 12 goals in this campaign and will look to recruit wisely in the January transfer window to try and overturn their fortunes. They failed to replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer and will now be looking to assess their options.

One of the options can be to recall their 20-year-old Nigerian marksman from Anderlecht. Everton signed Henry Onyekuru for £7million during the summer transfer window and the Onitsha born starlet penned a five year deal at Goodison Park. But the Toffees failed to secure a work permit for him, which led to his year-long loan move to Anderlecht. However, there are two major stumbling blocks if Everton wants to bring him back in January. One of them is whether they can get a work permit for him.

Non-EU/EEA players are required to have played a certain percentage of matches for their country over the past twelve months in order to qualify for a work permit. In Henry Onyekuru’s case, the percentage is 75%. But the former KAS Eupen player only just made his debut recently for the Nigerian national team in June. So it seems that it won’t be possible for him to cover the 75% criteria.

What makes the move even more difficult is the fact that there’s no clause in his loan deal which might help Everton bring him back in January.

However, recent reports claim that the Toffees can use the “exceptional talent” argument to try and persuade the authorities to grant the 20-year-old a work permit even though he doesn’t fit the criteria.

Apparently, Ramiro Funes Mori was subject to a similar situation when the Toffees cited the Copa Libertadores victory for River Plate as evidence of his talents.

Henry Onyekuru has made 21 appearances for Anderlecht this season, scoring 8 goals in the process. He may be an unproven Premier League forward but the Toffees can definitely do with his talents in the opposition end in an effort to boost their chances of a strong second half to this campaign. It remains to be seen whether Everton go the extra mile to try and recall him in January.

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