Onana compared to former Everton hero by Belgium coach
Belgium under-21 coach Thomas Buffel has compared Amadou Onana to former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
The Blues look to have hijacked West Ham’s bid for the Lille man after matching their bid of £33.5million, and convincing the player to cut talks with the Hammers and prioritise a move to Goodison Park. The 20-year-old is one of the most promising young midfielders in Europe and made 31 appearances in Ligue 1 last season, as well as nine in Lille’s Champions League campaign.
And speaking to Belgian media when it looked as if the under-21 international would sign for the Hammers, Buffel - who had Onana as his captain for the youth side - likened him to former Everton and David Moyes midfield general Fellaini.
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“West Ham will not have happened overnight. They pay for his potential, and he has it,” Buffel told . “Amadou is taking steps forward quickly. Amadou is a calm boy – an important quality. Also a leader figure. He is not our captain for nothing. He can inspire his teammates and puts a lot of energy into his game.
“Amadou is reminiscent of Fellaini, especially in stature. He can also play in the ‘ten’. He won’t do two man dribbling, but with his infiltrations and length he can be dangerous in the box. We’ll see what role West Ham has in store for him. His versatility is an asset. The ‘six’ and ‘eight’ are more his natural positions. He has tremendous athleticism – ideal for the Premier League. As an attacker, you can never get rid of him,”
Capped by Belgium at Under-17, U18, U19 and U21 level, Onana was handed his full international debut by former Toffees boss Roberto Martinez in June, coming on at half-time in a 4-1 defeat to the Netherlands. And at 6ft 5in, he certainly resembles fellow Belgian and former Everton man Fellaini.
And should the young midfield star complete his move to Merseyside, Lampard will be gaining a combative and athletic central midfielder capable of dominating the middle of the park and breaking up play effectively.
There remains work to do in sealing the deal for Onana, and Lampard remained coy in his pre-Chelsea press conference, refusing to go into detail. But if Everton can get this signing over the line then they may have a new Belgian enforcer in the midfield.
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