May 25, 2024


PSV Eindhoven winger Johan Bakayoko is reportedly a target for Premier League trio Liverpool, Burnley and Everton but the veracity of those claims is being questioned in the Netherlands. 


Liverpool enter race to sign PSV Eindhoven wonderkid Johan Bakayoko

With Everton running into brick walls in pursuit of Leeds’ wantaway wideman Wilfried Gnonto, and with Burnley seemingly accepting defeat in their battle to sign Dodi Lukebakio from Hertha Berlin, you can probably expect to see Johan Bakayoko’s name pop up now and again before the window closes next week.

According to Fabrizio Romano and Sacha Tavolieri, there is interest from Everton and Burnley in the 20-year-old Belgium international; potentially a fine alternative to Gnonto and Lukebakio.

But while Bakayoko had an offer on the table from Paris Saint-Germain only a few months ago – a fact confirmed by the player himself – reports now suggesting that the youngster could end up in England do not stand up to scrutiny, according to two legends of Dutch football.

PSV icon Wim Kieft, meanwhile, wonders if those Bakayoko rumours are the work of pesky agents, rather than any genuine interest from the likes of Liverpool.

“I don’t believe all those reports,” adds Kieft; believing Bakayoko could be a £50 million player if he stays at PSV for another couple of seasons. “I was so surprised about the reports that Liverpool are interested in Bakayoko.

“Isn’t that madness? I really think that is total madness.”

The ‘incredibly explosive‘ Bakayoko scored five goals and set up five more in 23 Eredivisie appearances during his breakthrough campaign under Ruud van Nistelrooy in 2022/23. Everton are yet to score in their opening two Premier League fixtures and remain in the market for attacking additions, though Gnonto remains their priority target.

Signing the jet-heeled Italian is proving to be easier said than done, however; Leeds standing firm despite Everton’s £25 million bid and a written transfer request.

“The situation is complicated,” Gnonto’s representative, Claudio Vigorelli, tells Radio Sportiva. “Leeds are blocking the requests we have in the Premier League.”

Calvert-Lewin was previously a fan favourite at Goodison Park as he netted 29 goals across two seasons in the Premier League. However, his fitness rapidly declined and he has since been sidelined for over 200 days in total.

The striker made his long-awaited comeback as the Toffees travelled to Villa Park at the weekend, before he was forced off with a fractured cheekbone in the first half following a collision with Emiliano Martinez.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is an ‘easy target’ for Everton fans


Calvert-Lewin received both support and abuse from fans following his withdrawal and Richards has admitted his concerns for the England international’s mental health.

“What struck me from that game apart from the abysmal defending was Calvert-Lewin getting another injury,” Richards said.

“I’ve been in this position and I can sympathise. Over the past 18 months, because Calvert-Lewin is quite fashionable and is seen on the front of magazines, now people say that he’s not concentrating on his football. It’s not fair to judge someone just because they do that.

“The reason why the manager has put him in is because he believes in him and he’s working hard to come back, but unfortunately he’s going through one of them times where he can’t get anything right and that can play on your mental health. It’s very difficult when people are constantly saying negative things about you because then you start thinking negatively.

“He just needs one goal, get his confidence back and no injuries and we can all see what a good player he is. But I just hope people stop judging him outside of the field because it’s an easy target.”

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