Youssef Chermiti: Everything you need to know about Everton’s exciting transfer target
After a round of transfer rumours linking the club to a number of strikers, Everton fans were surprised with the announcement that the club had reached an agreement, in principle, for Sporting CP forward Youssef Chermiti.
The youngster is now a hot topic and here is everything you need to know about Everton’s new transfer target.
Who is Youssef Chermiti?
Youssef Chermiti is a 19-year-old Portuguese forward. Standing at a towering six-foot-four, the youngster broke into Sporting CP’s first team in the 2022/23 Liga Portugal season, making 16 appearances, scoring three times and assisting twice.
He also played 131 minutes in the Europa League across 5 matches but was unable to score or assist.
Chermiti arrived at Sporting in 2016, progressing through the academy before playing 16 games for Sporting CP’s B team from 2021-2023 where he scored one goal. He has also made 33 appearances for the Portugal national side at under-15 level right through to under-19, scoring 11 times.
Despite being so tall, fans would be mistaken for assuming the young prospect is a simple target man to lump the ball towards.
The striker possesses a deft touch on the ball and has no trouble running directly at opposition defenders and dribbling past them.
He can use his height to bring the ball down easily and has quick, close control of the ball in tight spaces, allowing him to navigate congested spaces comfortably.
Positionally, the Portuguese forward is comfortable covering the horizontal areas within the width of the half-spaces.
He can operate as a deep-lying forward, receiving the ball near the halfway line before driving forward to allow teammates to make attacking runs or he can act as an attacking outlet around the box, taking the ball down with ease in tight areas, before finding a teammate or firing a shot at goal.
At times, he can dribble inside from wide areas, looking to cut the ball back for other attacking players or finding a shooting opportunity.
A Dominic Calvert-Lewin replacement or a project player?
With Everton’s striker struggles over the past few seasons, fans will be eager to see a new arrival that can replicate something similar to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s 2020/21 form where the Englishman bagged himself 16 league goals in 33 matches.
With that in mind, it’s clear to see that Chermiti operates in a different manner at Sporting CP than Calvert-Lewin does at Everton.
As his heatmap shows, Calvert-Lewin diligently covers the right half-space while sometimes dropping into deep-right areas to link up with teammates. This allows him to lay the ball off to teammates, before making well-timed runs into the box to attack incoming crosses.
Both strikers showed strengths in different areas of their game.
While Chermiti outperformed Calvert-Lewin last season in touches of the ball, shot volume and goals created, it’s worth remembering that these parts of his game won’t be as important when playing in Everton’s heavily transition-based system.
It is also unlikely that he will be able to take so many touches in the opposition box, too. The important factors, which is where Calvert-Lewin’s experience shows, are aerial duels, interceptions, take-on success rate, and more minorly, passing volume.
These aspects of his game show where Chermiti will need to apply himself when at Everton as those skills are vital to the club’s style of play.
With a reliance on hold-up play, ball retention in the attacking third and link-up play between the attacking players, the young forward will need to provide a consistent end product with his dribbling, hold-up play and his pressing in the final third of the pitch.
Realistically, he may need time and patience from the club and the fans but Everton are reportedly still working to sign another, more experienced forward.
Would this be the right signing for the Toffees?
Essentially, fans can get excited over the potential signing of Youssef Chermiti.
At 19, he is a raw talent but a talent nonetheless. While he won’t be a like-for-like Calvert-Lewin successor, he would still offer great physicality, dribbling ability and a direct style of play to Everton’s side.
He will likely arrive as more of a project player, but at the reported £12.8 million fee, he seems like a potential bargain!
If Everton can indeed bring in another striker, one with more experience, they may well be able to improve their long-standing attacking struggles.