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Henry Onyekuru has a real battle to rectify Everton career

Everton

Henry Onyekuru has a real battle to rectify Everton career

Everton snapped up the Nigerian last summer, but he has had a tough 2018 so far.

Last summer Everton made plenty of new signings. The club invested heavily in the first-team squad, with the likes of Michael Keane, Jordan Pickford and Gylfi Sigurdsson all expensive recruits for Farhad Moshiri to empty his pockets for.

Another new signing was that of Nigerian talent Henry Onyekuru. The attacker had just scored 24 goals in 41 games for KAS Eupen the season previously and had plenty of teams chasing his signature.

Everton eventually won the race, paying a fee reported to be in the region of £7 million by the BBC.

He was immediately loaned out to Anderlecht, as he did not have the credentials to earn a work permit to play in the UK.

The hope for Everton was that Onyekuru would thrive at the Belgian giants. He would then go to the World Cup with Nigeria and receive his work permit as a consequence.

That has not proved to be the case. At first, it appeared the plan was working. Onyekuru scored nine goals in 26 appearances in the first half of the season, mostly playing from the left-wing. However, in December, he suffered a serious knee injury that left him out of action until April.

Now, Onyekuru risks become a forgotten man at Everton.

The injury scuppered his chances of playing for Nigeria this summer. Despite his return in April, Anderlecht were reluctant to play him and he no longer wants to stay in Brussels on a similar loan spell next season as a consequence.

His lack of first-team action saw the Super Eagles omit him from the World Cup squad.

(Photo credit should read ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Without a UK work permit, he is set to find another loan club next season, with Borussia Monchengladbach linked by HLN.

Everton now have an entirely new structure to the one that first brought Onyekuru to the club and the Nigerian will need to produce some real quality next season to remain on the club’s radar.

He also needs to win back a place in the Nigeria squad, or Everton will never get the accreditation needed for him to play for the club.

This season has turned out to be a disaster for the £7m Everton newbie and it is not ridiculous to think he is now struggling to ever make an impact at Goodison Park.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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