David Moyes confirms West Ham pursuit of £33m star, as ‘stressful’ talks end in defeat to Prem rival

·3-min read
David Moyes, Liverpool v West Ham March 2022 Credit: PA Images
David Moyes, Liverpool v West Ham March 2022 Credit: PA Images

West Ham boss David Moyes says his team went after Amadou Onana in the summer transfer window, but after a ‘stressful’ period he joined Everton instead.

Onana signed with Lille from Hamburger SV in August 2021. He put in some impressive performances during 42 matches for Lille, during which he registered three goals and one assist.

The central midfielder’s top form in Ligue 1 put several clubs on alert for a potential transfer. And West Ham soon became the leading suitors.

They agreed a deal with Lille for him in early August, as per Sky Sports. However, the Irons couldn’t agree on personal terms with Onana and his agent.

Everton soon became aware of the situation and pounced. They finalised a deal of their own, reportedly worth £33million. And Onana subsequently moved to Goodison Park by penning a five-year contract.

Onana made his Everton debut in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa on August 13. He has also played in Premier League matches against Nottingham Forest, Brentford, Leeds and Liverpool.

The Belgian is starting to force his way into Frank Lampard’s first team. He started in midfield alongside Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies during the recent 0-0 draw with rivals Liverpool.

Onana has big weight on his shoulders due to Everton spending a large amount of money on him. But he looks like he has the ability and attributes to succeed in England.

David Moyes opens up on Amadou Onana hunt

Ahead of West Ham’s trip to Goodison Park on Sunday, Moyes was asked about the chase for Onana’s signature. He explained how the West Ham talks went and made a claim about the summer being ‘stressful’.

“We were close [to signing him],” Moyes admitted (via Goal). “It was just one of the periods of the transfer window where I have got to say it was very stressful and difficult to get things done and this was one of the periods where we just couldn’t quite get this one over the line.

“We were looking to bring him in. He’s an up and coming player and for long periods, we thought we would have got him but it didn’t quite work and he ended up at Everton.”

As Onana will likely start for Everton against West Ham, he will be looking to make a big impression on both his new club and the team that tried to capture him.

Onana will also have the World Cup in mind when it comes to his Everton form. He has won one cap for the Belgian national team, which came against the Netherlands in June.

It will be tough for Onana to make the plane for the tournament, given Roberto Martinez’s rich midfield options. He can also play Kevin de Bruyne, Youri Tielemans, Leander Dendoncker and Axel Witsel in the centre of the park.

But if Onana becomes an Everton regular and begins to shine in the Prem, then he stands a great chance of getting the selection from Martinez.

Meanwhile, a pundit has told David Moyes to continue using Gianluca Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet in attack after the pair helped West Ham beat Silkeborg in the Europa Conference League.

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