Everton confirm Iliman Ndiaye signing as Sean Dyche explains transfer strategy

Director of football Kevin Thelwell welcomes new signing Iliman Ndiaye to Everton

Everton have confirmed the signing of Iliman Ndiaye from Marseille.

The Senegal international has agreed a five-year deal at Goodison Park and becomes Everton’s third summer signing after Tim Iroegbunam joined from Aston Villa and the club secured the loan return of Jack Harrison from Leeds United. The Blues are believed to have agreed a deal in the region of £17 million for the forward.

Ndiaye had long been of interest to Everton but the club was unable to prevent a move to France from Sheffield United last summer. The Ligue 1 forward was made available, however, after the club endured a turbulent campaign in which he failed to make a significant impression, scoring just four goals in 46 appearances.

The forward did enjoy a strong spell with the Blades in England though, impressing in both the Premier League and the Championship. The 24-year-old – who had a short spell on loan at Hyde United in 2020 – scored 22 goals in 88 appearances for the Sheffield outfit, including 14 in his final season for the club in the second tier.

Given his preferred role is typically playing off a main striker, Ndiaye will be expected to compete with Abdoulaye Doucoure for a starting spot. Doucoure, who has largely excelled under Sean Dyche, struggled for form late in the campaign after returning from injury, but could also be deployed in a deeper role as a result of this move.

While Everton have been active in terms of incoming players this summer, they are braced for serious approaches for a number of their star performers. Jarrad Branthwaite, Amadou Onana and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have received interest from clubs in the Premier League and across European football. The club reached the end of the football financial year without the sale of a major asset and with hopes it would comply with Premier League spending rules for the first time in three years. That confidence was boosted by the early summer sales of youth product Lewis Dobbin to Aston Villa and Ben Godfrey, who was due to enter the final year of his contract, to Atalanta.

Everton manager Sean Dyche said: “Iliman adds versatility to our attacking options and strengthens our forward line as we look to build on the progress we made as a team last season in terms of chances created.

“He is still young but has experience at European and international level and we feel he will be a really positive addition to our squad.”

Director of football, Kevin Thelwell, added: “Iliman is a player we have admired for a long time and we are delighted to bring a much sought-after player of his quality to Everton.

“We think he will excite Evertonians and give our attack a different dimension. He has performed in Europe with a big club like Marseille and, at 24, we are confident he can be an excellent player for us for many years to come.”

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