Why Everton should complete a move for Isaac Lihadji
The 17-year-old attacker has enjoyed a breakthrough season at his boyhood club this term and is already making waves with his rapid development, despite only making a couple of substitute appearances for Marseille in the top-flight.
As well as Everton, Man United are also keeping close tabs on Lihadji’s progress in his homeland, while the teenager’s newly-found senior professional status has also put La Liga giants Barcelona on red alert. (h/t North Wales Live)
Lihadji, though, is keen to keep his feet on the ground for the time being, with the French U-18 international expressing his desire to further his development at his boyhood club. (h/t North Wales Live)
However, given that the talented teenager is yet to put pen to paper on professional terms at Marseille, the Ligue 1 outfit would be powerless to prevent him from seeking greener pastures in the near future, if he so wishes.
Born in Marseille, France, to parents of Comorian descent, Isaac Lihadji started his career at his local club Septemes before joining Marseille’s youth system in 2014.
Having caught the eye with his prodigious talent and vast potential, French starlet was promoted to the first-team earlier in the summer and it hasn’t taken long for him to make his mark at the highest level.
Given his tender years, the left-footed winger is only expected to play a bit-part role at Marseille in Ligue 1 but with Everton and Man United circling around like sharks to snap him up for a thrifty fee, Lihadji might not be honing his skills at the Stade Velodrome for too long.
To put things into perspective, Isaac Lihadji has only just burst on to the scene at the senior level but he looks like a real talent at this stage of his career and Everton snapping him up for measly amount could go on to pay rich dividends in the years to come if the 17-year-old goes on to fulfil his promise at Goodison Park.
That he has successfully made the step up to the senior level at 17 is indicative of a level of maturity that belies his tender years and early signs suggest that Lihadji has all the raw materials to evolve into a top-quality professional in the future.
In conjunction with Head of Recruitment Marcel Brands, Marco Silva has made it a priority to build a team around young and developing players, as evident from Everton’s decision to bring in the likes of Alex Iwobi, Richarlison and Moise Kean in the recent transfer windows.
Furthermore, the Toffees pride themselves in blooding young talent in their academy and they already have some exciting prospects like Ellis Sims, Anthony Gordon and Dennis Aderinan coming through the U-23s in the Premier League 2.
With the likes of Bernard, Richarlison, Theo Walcott and Alex Iwobi all competing for a role on the flanks, Issac Lihadji is unlikely to find a direct pathway to the first-team should Everton complete a swoop for him in January.
However, given that the attacking prodigy still has plenty of room for improvement and is very much in his formative years at 17, spending time with the reserves in the Premier League 2 shouldn’t do him much harm.
In fact, that would make the make it a lot easier for him to acclimatise to his new surroundings before making a transition to the first-team.
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Conversely, the Toffees might also want to loan him back to Marseille after signing him up in January or next summer if the teenager is deemed good enough to play regularly at the senior level.
Either way, Everton completing a move for Isaac Lihadji would be a step in the right direction as far as their long-term plans are concerned.