Rafael Benitez has wasted no time in putting his own stamp on Everton after taking over from Real Madrid-bound Carlo Ancelotti this summer. The Spaniard is preparing, according to Caught Offside, to challenge Liverpool and Manchester United for the signature of Villarreal forward Samuel Chukwueze.
The 22-year-old has a release clause of €68m in his contract, although it’s expected he could be gotten for less than that. A key remit in Benitez’s rebuild is to inject pace and dynamism into a one-paced Everton attack, and Villarreal’s fleet-footed Nigerian fits the bill. His age, also, is a real plus; he’s got real potential.
Chukwueze joined Villarreal from the Diamond Football Academy in Nigeria at 16. He made his first-team debut a year later, in 2018, earning a senior international call-up the same year. He contributed four goals and three assists in 28 La Liga appearances last season as Villarreal finished seventh, also contributing a goal and four assists as they won the Europa League.