Everton and Roberto Martinez home in on David Henen
Roberto Martinez has admitted Everton’s interest in blossoming Belgium youngster David Henen, with a deal supposedly close to fruition. A successful swoop for the Anderlecht attacker would be somewhat of a coup for the Toffees, who are 13/2 for a top four finish, amid rumours of admiration from Arsenal and Manchester United.
Blues boss Martinez admitted a transfer was “in the process of being completed”, but focused on the exciting 18-year-old’s prospects in the Everton under-21 squad, rather than the first-team.
Potentially following in teenage United starlet Adnan Januzaj’s footsteps, by trading Anderlecht for the Premier League, Henen has represented Belgium at youth level, but is yet to earn his first senior cap.
Likened in style to a young Cristiano Ronaldo, Henen can operate centrally or on either wing, but is not expected to start life at Goodison Park by competing for a spot in the starting XI. Despite Martinez’s penchant for giving youth a chance, the forward is unlikely to be one of the attacking additions that the Spaniard is hoping to bolster his first team squad with.
Arouna Kone, who spent most of last season on the sidelines, and Steven Naismith, are currently the only senior strikers in the Everton’s squad, meaning Martinez must make adding further firepower a priority.
The Toffees coach has targeted a trio of offensive options, revealing the Merseysiders “definitely want one midfielder and three attackers”, with Lyon playmaker Clement Grenier believed to be top of the list.
Everton have been continuously linked with moves for former Chelsea strikers Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba, but missed out on the latter after he opted for a move to Turkish club Besiktas.
Last season’s loan star Romelu Lukaku, who was top scorer for Martinez with 16 goals, is heavily rumoured to favour a permanent switch to Merseyside, following fresh reports that parent club Chelsea intend to bring Didier Drogba back to Stamford Bridge.
Martinez could lose out again, though, as Juventus are apparently prepared to hijack any deal for the Belgian frontman, after new striker signing Alvaro Morata suffered a knee injury in his first training session.
With Everton keen on a number of new acquisitions, the former Wigan Athletic boss could also dip into the loan market again, following last season’s success with Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu.
Ghana and Chelsea winger Christian Atsu is supposedly on Martinez’s radar, after his impressive appearances at the World Cup, and a loan stint at Vitesse Arnhem. Experience with Everton, who are outsiders at 100/1 to lift the Premier League trophy, could suit all parties.