With Theo Walcott not setting the world alight, and Bernard still settling into English football, much of our reliance out wide was from either Richarlison or Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
And with Calvert-Lewin moving in-field and seemingly making the number nine role his own during the closing stages of the season, our end product and goal threat from our wingers took a hit. But, according to Italian publication TuttoMercatoWeb, we’ve made our interest in AS Roma star Cengiz Under concrete, and seen an initial £24.8m bid rejected. If we can get a deal over the line, then having Richarlison cutting in from the left, and Under from the right, might just be our version of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah from the other half of Merseyside.
Valued at £35m by Transfermarkt, Under has been linked with a host of the biggest sides in European football, and is one of the most highly sought after youngsters in the world.
Despite being just 21, he has already earned 18 caps for Turkey’s senior side, scoring five times, with his latest goal for his country coming in last week’s 2-1 win over Greece. He has featured heavily for Roma in the two seasons since joining in 2017, and would bring the experience of playing both in the Serie A and in the Champions League.
The Turkey international has already drawn great comparisons with the likes of Paulo Dybala and Lionel Messi, and after Salah left the Giallorossi to join Liverpool, the Italian side bought Under as his direct replacement. Whilst he hasn’t gone on to produce the goal-scoring form the Egyptian has shown, he may have more strings to his bow than the current Reds winger. Aside from his incredible dribbling skills, the 21-year-old also has a great eye for a pass as shown by his 11 assists across all competitions this season.
With Walcott and even Ademola Lookman more comfortable on their right foot and getting to the by-line, having a left-footed Under in the side would give us such a valuable option going forward. It would allow Seamus Coleman to get back to those marauding overlapping runs, and give the opposition something else to think about.
With Richarlison on one side and Under on the other, we would have a real added goal-scoring threat from both flanks. And with both comfortable in possession and having pace to burn, we could easily adapt between controlling the tempo of the game or playing on the counter-attack.
Mane and Salah may be taking all the plaudits now, but if we can bring in Under and Richarlison kicks on once more, then Goodison Park might be the home to the two best wingers in the league next season.