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Moise Kean to Everton sounds like a transfer that would only be seen on Football Manager. The 19-year-old is the next big hope of the Italian national side and he’s already playing regular first-team minutes for the best team in Serie A.
In an ideal world, he’d go on to be a legend for Juventus. He’d win countless trophies, score even more goals and be known as a one-club man. But sadly we aren’t living in the perfect world.
The Serie A champions are desperate to win the Champions League. In their quest to claim the trophy they last lifted in 1996, Juventus are very much a team concentrating on the short-term. They want instant results.
And while Kean is undoubtedly a potential world-class talent, he isn’t at that level yet and he’s perhaps more valuable to them as an asset to sell to improve the squad as opposed to a player.
The Daily Mail claim £31million would be enough to convince the Juve board to part ways with the wonderkid. However, the Italian’s want to include a buyback clause which allows Kean to return to Turin down the line for £40million should they feel they need him again.
On paper, it seems like a raw deal for the Toffees. They would develop him and for their efforts receive only £9million. Without the buyback clause, Everton could potentially double their money if they decided to seel and Kean develops as expected.
But Marco Silva’s men need to look at the bigger picture. Yes, a £9million profit on a player is nothing these days but the impact Kean could have on the club is potentially worth tens of millions.
Think of Álvaro Morata’s spell with Juventus. They signed him for €20million and Real Madrid bought him back two years later for €30million. It was a measly €10million profit on a player Los Blancos eventually sold for €70million.
However, Morata helped Juve reach the Champions League final during his time in Turin, and that earned the Serie A side close to €70million, according to reports.
Of course, he wasn’t directly responsible for that windfall but he did score five goals in the competition, including two in the semi-final to knock out Real Madrid and one in the final against Barcelona.
This isn’t to say Kean would fire Everton to the Champions League final during his time at Goodison Park. But he could be a difference-maker in the club’s pursuit of European football.
With Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal set to go through transitional seasons, it’s a perfect opportunity for Everton to capitalise on this and break into the Premier League top six.
Silva is into his second campaign as Toffees manager; the players know what he wants and he knows what his players can offer. This should see them deliver more consistently. André Gomes made his loan move a permanent one and Everton have managed to keep hold of reportedly in-demand players such as Lucas Digne, Idrissa Gueye and Richarlison.
The only thing missing for them is a reliable goalscorer. Something Kean has showcased that he is despite a limited number of first-team minutes throughout his career.
Last season, the talented teen appeared in 535 minutes in Serie A and averaged over one goal per 90. On the surface, it may look unsustainable but his expected goals return of 0.67 suggests this might not be the case. He regularly got into high-quality, dangerous positions. Most elite-level strikers outperform this metric so this just might be what Kean does.
The only potential negative to consider is the sample size. It's tiny, meaning whether he can do it over an entire season is an unknown.
But going off last season's data, Kean appears to be a quality chance-getter with the composure and the calmness needed to flourish at the top. He's averaging a high volume of shots per 90 and is fairly accurate, landing 50 per cent of his efforts on target.
He's used to seeing a great amount of the ball in the area, averaging 6.05 touches per 90 in the opposition's box. His heat map, however, shows he's far from just a poacher and he does drift deep and into wide areas to get involved. He brings others into play, something that may appeal to Silva with the Portuguese tactician eager to get Richarlison into central positions from time to time.
If Everton manage to pull off this signing it's a huge coup for them. He could be the difference between them battling to be named as the best of the rest or having Goodison Park host European football during the 2020/21 campaign.