Everton hope to sign the Dutch international striker Arnaut Danjuma on loan this week, after he signalled that the relegation strugglers were his choice when he leaves Villarreal – with a range of teams in the lower half of the Premier League keen on his signing.
Danjuma, 25, was pursued by Southampton, Nottingham Forest and his former club Bournemouth – all of whom could do with a goalscorer. There was also interest from PSV Eindhoven, who sold England Under-21 Noni Madueke to Chelsea this week. Nevertheless, it is Everton who are favourites now to sign the striker who has fallen out of favour at Villarreal.
Danjuma, who has played eight times for Holland but was not in the reckoning for last year’s World Cup squad, is understood to be attracted to the challenge that Everton, and the club’s situation, currently presents.
Danjuma had two seasons with Bournemouth, whom he joined from Club Brugge in 2019. He played in the Premier League relegation season and the subsequent Championship season in which the club reached the play-off semi-finals, in which he scored 17 goals across 37 games in all competitions. His goal return over a season and a half at Villarreal has been close to a goal every two games.
The Everton manager Frank Lampard has a crucial game on Saturday against one of his former clubs, West Ham, who are also in the bottom three of the table. Having sold Richarlison, and with Dominic Calvert-Lewin struggling with injury in this season, Everton’s top goalscorer in the league is Anthony Gordon with three so far. Support unrest reached new levels during and after the defeat to Southampton at Goodison Park on Saturday.
Pedro Alcala of FC Cartagena competes for the ball with Arnaut Danjuma of Villarreal CF – Getty Images
Danjuma is understood to be attracted to the challenge that Everton presents – Getty Images
Lampard has said he has told his players not to put selfish feelings first and hide behind the turmoil contaminating the club
“I had things to say because from my point of view – in the position we are in – we have to fight and be ready for the fight. If the players in the dressing room are disappointed we lost then that is good. If they want to fight and be a good teammate and not think about themselves, think about the team and try to get the result the next week and train throughout the week with great intensity whether they are starting or not, that is all I want.
“Off the back of games like Southampton that reality has become even more clear. The reality is – whether their confidence is down or wherever they are at in their game – they have to think about the way out of difficult moments. I have been in many in my career and the only way is work. The only way is focus. And the only way is being unselfish about it and putting yourself to the limit.
“One of the earliest things I learned in professional football, and maybe my upbringing to be fair, was that the minute you make excuses or try to apportion blame to anything other than what you can input is the minute you fail. The first thing I’d say to the players is not to look anywhere else but themselves.”