As the January transfer window gathers momentum, a new contender emerges in the chase for Everton's defensive midfield dynamo, Amadou Onana. Chelsea, according to the Daily Mirror, is set to challenge Arsenal for the signature of the 22-year-old Belgian international. This development adds an intriguing twist to what promises to be a riveting winter transfer saga.
Arsenal's Interest and Financial Puzzle
Arsenal's interest in Onana has been the subject of much speculation. The young midfielder's performances in the Premier League have not gone unnoticed at the Emirates. However, the Gunners appear to be in a financial conundrum.
Potential departures might be on the cards with the need to balance the books. Eddie Nketiah and goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale are among the names mentioned as possible exits to free up funds for Onana's transfer fee. But as negotiations have yet to begin, Arsenal's stance remains one of cautious calculation.
Chelsea Enters the Fray
Enter Chelsea. The Blues, sensing an opportunity, are reportedly ready to pounce. Chelsea's interest could potentially escalate the situation into a bidding war. The Stamford Bridge outfit believes Everton might be willing to part with Onana if their valuation is met. The exact figure remains under wraps, but given Onana's contract running until the summer of 2027 and his £33.5 million move from Lille in 2022, it won't be a nominal amount.
Onana's Premier League Journey So Far
Onana's journey in the Premier League with Everton has been notable. In his 16 appearances this season, he has demonstrated why top clubs are vying for his services. His defensive capabilities and physical presence in the midfield have been pivotal for the Toffees. Onana has been a barrier in front of the defense and a key player in initiating attacks.
What Onana Could Bring to Chelsea or Arsenal
At Chelsea, Onana could provide the muscle and energy in the midfield that has been somewhat lacking. For Arsenal, his signing could add depth and versatility, offering different tactical options to Mikel Arteta. It could also free up Declan Rice to take up the more offensive creative role a la Granit Xhaka. Onana's ability to break up play and his comfort on the ball make him a valuable asset in the Premier League's fast-paced environment.
A Transfer Battle in the Making?
As the transfer saga unfolds, it's clear that Onana is a hot property in this winter market. With Chelsea and Arsenal showing serious interest, it remains to be seen where Onana will land. Will it be the blue of Chelsea or the red of Arsenal? Or does Everton manage to retain their midfield maestro? The coming weeks in the transfer window are set to be intriguing for all parties involved.
“In terms of this month, from what I'm told, the reports about intensive talks and that stuff, that's not what I'm hearing, put it that way,” said Amadou Onana on the Arsenal talks.
“Things could change, I would never sit here and rule it out, but I don't think it's as concrete as you may have thought by reading some of what you were reading,”