Henry Onyekuru has had to prove his worth elsewhere to earn Everton’s truth. After excelling on a season-long loan at Anderlecht, the Nigerian is ripping apart defenses in Turkey. Onyekuru deserves Goodison chance.
Of all Toffees’ foreign summer arrivals in the summer of 2017, Onyekuru proved the most astute piece of business even without kicking a ball for the club. Sandro Ramirez couldn’t wait another summer before jumping back to Spain. Davy Klaassen, who did, was left without any choice after a Napoli switch fell through at the last hurdle. Nikola Vlasic is a Goodison Park ghost.
Unlike those three Onyekuru wasn’t given the chance to prove his worth in Everton blue. Work permit issues forced the 21-year-old to spend last season elsewhere. Having blossomed in the Jupiler League before being plucked for a £7 million fee from KAS Eupen, where he had been top scorer, it was logical to send him back to the same environment. Jackpot.
Onyekuru conveyed his rich vein of form to Anderlecht. Fourteen starts yielded an impressive 10 goals. Having knocked in 23 in 42 for Eupen, Onyekuru was on fire. In truth he began quite modestly, failing to find the target in his first four outgoings at the Constant Vanden Stock.
Even when his teammates appeared mediocre on Champions League nights, Onyekuru distinguished himself. He was the sole shining light in purple and white. Yet Everton bundled him to Galatasaray and several odds coming from Premier League betting bookmarkers about the star moves.
There, the 21-year-old is further enhancing his reputation. He has already surpassed last term’s return in Belgium with 11 Super Lig strikes. Only Mbaye Diagne (26) plundered more for the Istanbul club. In fact just four other poachers garnered more in Turkey’s top flight.
With innate ability to play as a winger on either flank and as a central striker, he was wherever he needed him to be. His goals in Belgium and Turkey have displayed his multiple skills. He has beaten defenders with blazing acceleration, ghosted through crowds with magical close control, and rounded keepers with calm and cool.
Although not the strongest, Onyekuru is blessed with incredible craft and pace to run directly at defenders. He uses his quick feet to escape opposing players before exploding into space. His work attracted interest beyond Everton.
With seven senior caps for Nigeria and one goal, the Toffees may no longer accentuate on work permit issues. They must take back the Nigerian at all cost.