Everton signed Neal Maupay from Brighton & Hove Albion in late August 2022 as the club desperately sought attacking reinforcements to cover for the injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The Blues went into the 2022-23 season with only Salomon Rondon as a fit centre-forward and as the transfer deadline approached, the club finally secured another forward option in Maupay in a deal that could
eventually be worth £15M.
The Frenchman, who was in talks with Nottingham Forest and Fulham prior to agreeing to join Everton, completed a relatively swift transfer to Merseyside after Everton Blues had agreed a fee with the Seagulls.
"Everton is a great club with unbelievable fans and I am so, so happy to be here,” Maupay said after putting pen to paper on a
3-year contract that carried the option of a further year. “It feels amazing.
"It was an easy choice for me when I started to talk with the club. I knew straight away I wanted to play for Everton and help the club to succeed."
His new manager, Frank Lampard expressed his satisfaction at having added a much-needed attacking option to his squad while he awaits Dominic Calvert-Lewin's return to fitness from a knee injury.
"We're delighted to bring Neal to Everton, a player of proven quality in the Premier League. “We wanted to strengthen our attacking options and Neal provides a goalscoring threat, as well as bags of energy and a fighting spirit that are vital to what we're building.”
Maupay played 109 times for Brighton after joining them from Brentford in 2019 and scored 27 goals, an average of
9 per season. In 2021-22 he notched 9 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions.
According to the reports, Everton paid £12m for the striker, who signed a three-year contract with an option to add another year, with another £3m in appearance-related add-ons part of the final arrangement.
However as a goalscoring threat, Maupay proved to be anything but. Be it
through poor service, being played upfront as a lone striker, or a
strike partner often missing through injury or not selected, Maupay's
return was paltry in his first season as a striker at Everton. He managed one goal – in
just his second game – to secure a precious win over West Ham but, on the whole, his
performances were in the main an abject disappointment and a damning
indictment of Everton's recruitment problems that had been compounded by first-choice targets going elsewhere in the summer of 2022.
With Sean Dyche having replaced Lampard in January 2023 and the club reassessing its needs that summer, Maupay's future remained murky as the new season approached. The Frenchman had come close to joining Italian side Salernitana during the preceding winter transfer window and there were reports that that deal might be rekindled but he was a regular in the Blues' pre-season fixtures as the search for a reliable alternative to Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued.
For the 2023-24 season, he was given the No. 13 shirt previously
worn by Yerry Mina but his travails in front of goal remained and on transfer deadline day he made a season-long loan move back to Brentford.
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