Onana bowled over by fans' welcome

15/09/2022 38comments  |  Jump to last

As he settles into life at Everton following his big-money move from LOSC Lille in the summer, Amadou Onana has been speaking of how much appreciates the welcome he has received at the club.

The 21-year-old Belgian international was the Blues’ biggest signing of the close season when an initial fee of £30.3m was agreed with the French club and he has taken almost no time to slot into the midfield.

His positive attitude and impressive start to his Premier League career have helped endear him to the Everton faithful whom he gees up from the pitch and supporters regale him in kind with his own chant.

“I’ve never had such a warm welcome!” Onana says on evertonfc.com. “I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone at the club and the fans for making me feel that way.

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“I love [my chant]! I really love it. I've said this before and it's still difficult to describe but this just feels like home. The welcome I've had, the love we have from the supporters, never letting us down. A big thanks to them.

“I think everyone here knows what it means to wear this shirt, this badge, playing for this Club. It's a big, big club, with a big history. I respect this badge so much that when I go out there I can't do anything but give everything I have.”

Onana got an early taste of the blood and thunder of a Merseyside derby when he made his first start at Goodison Park in the recent match against Liverpool. Despite being new to the country and the League, the Senegal midfielder was tremendous as the Toffees battled out a goalless draw that could have gone either way.

Onana spoke of his initial impressions of the Premier League and the local grudge match, saying: “It's a tough league. It's different from what I've experienced in the past. The big difference is the pace because everything goes a bit faster here. I’m doing everything I can to adjust and adapt as fast as possible.

“Game time is obviously the thing that helps the most and I think the introduction I got helped me settle in, finding my marks and my way into it. I'm happy with how it's going.

“[The derby] was amazing. I feel lucky that I had the chance to play in it. The atmosphere was just incredible, our support is amazing. If you have such an atmosphere, you simply have to perform.

“It was nice to be out there giving my everything for the club. That's what they want from us and that's what I want to give them.”


Reader Comments (38)

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Minik Hansen
1 Posted 15/09/2022 at 17:52:27
I'm well happy about this signing of Onana.

I didn't expect much from this past transfer window, and with him, I've got a different kind of belief, in a good way that is!

Roll on Sunday – Birthday (38) of mine that is!

Jack Convery
2 Posted 15/09/2022 at 17:53:22
I like him. A lot. enough said.
Will Mabon
3 Posted 15/09/2022 at 18:03:57
Minik - 38.

It wasn't 40 that seemed to come fast for me, nor 50. It was 60. Was 52, 53... then BOOM – 60.

Start applying the brakes now...

Steve Shave
4 Posted 15/09/2022 at 18:10:11
Gonna turn out to be a top top signing, this boy, I love him already.

I think Franky boy has a plan to gently blood in young Garner this season and have him and Onana bombing on as 8s in front of the sitting Gueye.

I see the vision, Frank, let's go!

Danny O’Neill
5 Posted 15/09/2022 at 18:21:47
He speaks very well for such a young player. And he is a quality young player with a lot of potential.

I'm 51 tomorrow, Minik. Neville Southall will be 64.

The win is coming on Sunday. Obana to get the winner.

Blue boys on the rise.

Soren Moyer
6 Posted 15/09/2022 at 18:36:56
I already love this lad. Has a big big heart.
Brian Murray
7 Posted 15/09/2022 at 19:07:41
Getting ahead of myself but he's our Ya Ya!
Joe McMahon
8 Posted 15/09/2022 at 19:07:46
With some strikers added over the next 2 windows, I also feel we are finally, finally getting there, but we have to keep this guy!
Tony Everan
9 Posted 15/09/2022 at 19:22:06
Happy Birthdays, Danny, Minik. A win on Sunday will be the perfect present.

Onana came with a hefty price tag, it's early days but I am loving what I'm seeing. We have signed an absolute diamond of a midfielder. Sounds like he has totally embraced the club too.

Steve, I'm seeing it too, Gana holding with Onana and Garner more licence to drive forward either side. It's got the makings of a midfield we've not seen for years.

Iwobi cannot be left out, but that's a good problem for Frank to have, and Doucoure will perform better in a stable midfield. It feels like we've well and truly addressed the midfield this time with options and genuine strength in depth.

Feeling confident and optimistic about Sunday.

Dave Cashen
10 Posted 15/09/2022 at 19:26:03
As he rightly says, he has to adjust to the pace of the Premier League. Sometimes that's been obvious and he has been caught dwelling on the ball thinking he had more time than he had.

Exciting though, isn't he ? As they say in horse racing "He could be anything".

If he was here for easy money, St Virgil has given him the perfect excuse to sit out a few games. He's clearly having none of that. I look forward to him returning the compliment at Anfield.

Really liking the cut of this fella's jib.

Neil Copeland
11 Posted 15/09/2022 at 19:31:04
Happy birthday, Minik, Danny and Nev.

Will, same here, mate, my fear is that 70 will arrive even quicker!

Steve Shave
12 Posted 15/09/2022 at 19:57:17
Tony @9,

I think Iwobi will eventually play in Gray's place and have licence to drift a little to centre behind the striker.

Our next signing should absolutely be a Pedro, Gapko type who can play anywhere across the forward line giving us further options and a chance to let go of Rondon and perhaps Townsend.

Paul Kernot
13 Posted 15/09/2022 at 20:44:36
Excellent signing this guy.

5 mins after coming on in his first game he got caught in possession & gave away a goal to Villa. 5 mins after that he as good as scored himself to make up for his mistake.

Shows great character for a 21-year-old. He'll never hide in games, that's for sure.

Will Mabon
14 Posted 15/09/2022 at 20:46:38
Neil, I realized I had to come up with a fix - so I've decided to just pretend it's not happening now.
Will Mabon
15 Posted 15/09/2022 at 20:48:19
Steve, for right now at least, I think we need to leave Iwobi as he is, as far as it fits - don't wanna rock that boat
Dale Self
16 Posted 15/09/2022 at 20:52:53
Good eye, Will, let him operate from deep where he can see the field and drop into spaces after finding the pass wide or rotate to the ball side to reset possession.

Oh yeah, this is about Onana. He and Coady add a real, very real, physical quality to the side. That warrior look doesn't come cheap and he wears it well. Durability will be the most valuable characteristic but his quality will show as he learns to use his body to fend off challenges.

As someone said on the Live Forum, "Onana for Everyone!"

Derek Knox
17 Posted 15/09/2022 at 20:55:54
Evertonians have always been able to recognise a decent player and let it be known, so it must be encouraging to a player when they know they are both appreciated and loved. Hope we manage to hang on to our better players.

Oh and Many Happy returns to Minik, Danny, Nev and my brother in Scotland!

Will Mabon
18 Posted 15/09/2022 at 21:01:30
Dale, yep - right in his sweet spot currently. When the likely "Clash" comes as the new players are introduced/used variously in midfield, with whatever happens up front... well, I guess we'll have to see.
Martin Mason
19 Posted 15/09/2022 at 21:26:49
I worry about him as I worry about all players like him. He becomes a target of a leg-breaking tackle from a thug.

Son Heung-min's tackle on Gomes deprived us of a very good player. Instead of prison, he walked free, it cost us £40M.

Onana could get a target on his back, but I think he is well equipped to defend himself.

Paul Birmingham
20 Posted 15/09/2022 at 21:30:32
It's still early days but Onana looks like he knows how to play football and is fearless and never intimidated on the park. Long may it last, and hopefully there will be no signs of the week off impacting Everton's play and energy levels for the West Ham game.

Congratzioni to all the TWrs with their birthdays these next few days, and all make the best of your day and have a ball.

West Ham will be a tough nut to crack, but can be beaten, as long as Everton can convert the chances they make.

Focus on Everton and build on the derby performance.

Peter Mills
21 Posted 15/09/2022 at 22:11:15
Definitely a prospect.
Neil Tyrrell
22 Posted 15/09/2022 at 22:54:58
Onana, ona-na-na

Diamonds on the soles of his shoes

Danny O’Neill
23 Posted 15/09/2022 at 23:36:35
I think Anthony Gordon is falling into that category as well, Martin.

Some may argue he goes down too easy looking for the foul.
But me, he is starting to be targeted and if he played for any of the obvious suspects, their managers would be claiming he isn't being protected by the officials.

I hope I'm wrong, but it won't surprise me if Gordon gets injured eventually as a result of the treatment he's getting. I know injuries happen and it's an occupational hazard of football but, as I say, he seems to be getting singled out for attention.

A compliment to his ability, but a concern from Everton's perspective.

Bob Parrington
24 Posted 16/09/2022 at 08:15:31
Touch of class and great for our team. Still likely to make the odd mistake but show me a player who doesn't make mistakes and he'll be a player who doesn't do much.

Martin #19. Monte Python - Always look on the bright side of life! Listen to it.

Jim Lloyd
25 Posted 16/09/2022 at 10:01:13
I think Martin has point there, Bob. He could have had his leg broken easily, in the derby. And what did Van Dijk get, a yellow for being "reckless" bastard red and bastard ref.

He did the same to Rodriguez as well. Too easily for our players to become a target and not get the protection from referees.

Mind you, I think Onana is a daunting young man and I think Van Dijk will steer clear of him in the next game, snidey get!

Joe Digney
26 Posted 16/09/2022 at 12:06:28
Gonna be some player, this lad.

Looks like he's getting more up to speed with the Premier League every week and now, with Gueye sitting behind/next to him, I think it'll give him much more freedom to play, seems to have a great attitude too.

Only downside I see is him being at Madrid in a couple of years as Modric's long-term replacement under Uncle Carlo.

Brian Murray
27 Posted 16/09/2022 at 12:21:05
Joe. You was doing well there. We have to strive and grow as a team that in 2 years he won't want to go anywhere else. Doesn't have to always end up that way with him or any gem has to keep moving on.
Minik Hansen
28 Posted 16/09/2022 at 14:25:00
Joe, if anything, Carlo Fantastico will be back and this time in the ne Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock, bringing in a couple of players along with him, Vini Jr and the likes!

And thanks for the early congratulations, Danny, it's yours today, I hope you get one of your best presents on Sunday!

John Kavanagh
29 Posted 16/09/2022 at 14:30:15
Onana must have shin bones made of titanium not to have been hospitalised by Van Dijk's premeditated leg-breaker. Promising to have someone that tough in midfield, but no doubt they'll try to do his Achilles tendons next after failing with the leg break.

But we now have Tarkowski and Coady to deal with any attempted nastiness as well. Real steel at Everton at long last not seen since the cup winning Dogs of War in the 1990s.

He will only get better as he adjusts to the speed of the Premier League and getting more used to the players around him. We finally seem to have something to look forward to other than dodging the relegation bullet.

ps: To Will and Co:- I long ago adopted the Donald Trump strategy in terms of birthdays. I stopped the count.

Danny O’Neill
30 Posted 16/09/2022 at 15:05:09
I'm not one for wishing injury or ill on any footballer. I don't believe in revenge. But what goes around comes around.

That nice guy St Virgil, adored by the adoring media, is sly and deceitful. He's put in more than a few shocking tackles in his time. There is aggression and then there is just dirty. Until Pickford clumsily took him out, he was trying his best to injure Rodriguez rather than tackle him.

The leg breaker on Onana, the ankle cruncher on the Napoli player. I guess he follows in the footsteps of Gerrard. That two-footer on Naismith that required respective action rather than the referee actually dealing with the blatant assault on the day if I recall?

It's my Birthday and I'm supposed to be on the calming pills.

The only things that calm me in life are the dogs at 6 am every morning and Everton.

Joe Digney
31 Posted 16/09/2022 at 16:36:58
Yeh, fair point Brian, gotta shake the mentality of always having to sell our better players to move forward.

Although I do think a business model of buy reasonable and sell high should be adopted on certain investments after the financial mess we've let happen over the past 5 years... but that's a whole different conversation for another time.

Let's hope in 2 years we'll be in Europe under Super Frank with Onana captain and Gueye still pulling the strings at 45.

I like the optimism, Minik. 👍🏻 Don't know if Vini Jr would get in the squad over Maupay though tbh.

Jim Lloyd
32 Posted 16/09/2022 at 17:03:13
Well, we are getting a mixture of skill speed and equally importantly, character, as Frank has rightly focussed on.

A bit on the lines of our mid-'80s team and I think we're only a few pieces short. I'm not saying title challengers or even regular Top 6. yet.

But Onana is a massive (in all senses!) addition to our midfield, as is Gana. And I hope Allan can contribute as well as it's a long season.

To get Onana, at such a young age, is brilliant recruiting from Frank and Kevin. In fact, they've massively improved our team without spending a fortune. I think we'll give any team a hard game now. I'm made up as well that young Davies showed a massive improvement in the Derby.

All in all, a good team, and the emphasis is on team, and I'm chuffed to bits that Onana's in it!

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 16/09/2022 at 17:37:22
What do you mean "in 2 years" Joe?

We're going next summer.

Joe Digney
34 Posted 16/09/2022 at 18:40:38
Europe won't know what's hit it, Danny mate! 🍻
David West
35 Posted 16/09/2022 at 19:43:09
On Onana. I mean, you can't help but be impressed. He will take time to adapt and fully impose himself and his game on this league but look at him already!

I feel he understands the physical aspects of this league and knows it's going to be hard on his body. I mean look at some of the challenges or assaults he's already had to cope with in his first couple of outings.

Some of the midfielders we've had in recent years would've been stretchered off, not to be seen in blue shirt for months. This lad gets up, grits his teeth, and continues to play like a man beyond his years.

I'm excited to see just how good he could be. Like a few of the players in this team now.

Let's get that win Sunday with hopefully Onana and Tarkowski on the score sheet as they are my 2 bets every week now!


Kieran Byrne
36 Posted 16/09/2022 at 21:12:00
Really want to see Onana standing over a crumpled fat Van Dijk & the Everton fans singing Onana, Boom By Aye (sp?) –the old Ali chant vs Foreman.

That'll be awesome and a decent payback... lol!

Neil Cremin
37 Posted 16/09/2022 at 21:16:04

I can understand the dogs being a calming influence at 06:00 when you are in control but how you can say that Everton is a calming influence defies belief.

A fan since 1966, those early years were typical of a top club – winning a league now and then. Then came the '80s and we were in heaven. However, for me, since Cup Final win in '95 it has been a roller-coaster ride. Nothing calming in that.

Hopefully we will get another Adrian Heath moment next Sunday.

Brian Wilkinson
38 Posted 17/09/2022 at 20:08:48
He will get even better with Gueye and Doucoure backing him up, going to be some midfield that, Gordon and Gray out wide, hopefully a fit Calvert-Lewin to be on the end of the crosses, and that’s not including Patterson and Mykolenko added as the second wave bombing forward.

Coady and Tarkowski staying strong in a backline 4 instead of 5 at the back.

Just need to make sure we stiffle Declan Rice out of the game, stop him and it is half the battle won.

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