By Jonty Banks

25th May, 2023 | 12:38pm

Everton should dig deep for 99th percentile striker Chuba Akpom after £20m transfer news emerges

Although Everton could still somehow escape relegation from the Premier League this season under Sean Dyche, the need for a big summer transfer window is as apparent as ever.

After a January window which solely consisted of the sale of academy graduate Anthony Gordon to Newcastle for £45million [Sky Sports], the club now have money to spend, and attacking personnel will be top of the summer shopping list.

One player who has arisen as an option to lead the line and ticks almost every box is Middlesbrough hotshot Chuba Akpom.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a sensational individual campaign at Boro this season, netting an eye-watering 28 goals from just 36 appearances and recently scooping up the EFL Player of the Year award.

TEAMtalk reported on 24 May that the Teeside outfit are willing to sell the attacker this summer for a fee of £20million in order to fund a summer rebuild under Michael Carrick, and Everton are one of the club’s interested in his services.

The Englishman has just one year of his current contract at the Riverside Stadium remaining, but the Toffees will face competition from the likes of Crystal Palace, Wolves, Leicester City and Brentford.

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According to the Opta-powered stats from FBREF, Akpom is in the 99th percentile of Championship attackers for non-penalty expected goals in the last calendar year (0.70 per 90) as well as sitting in the top 10% for shots total (2.69 per 90).

If Farhad Moshiri wishes to improve his reputation with the Goodison faithful, this is a deal he should dig deep into his pockets to get over the line.

Neal Maupay looks like he is exiting the club this summer, just one year after joining from Brighton, while Ellis Simms hasn’t registered any significant impact under Dyche since returning from his Sunderland loan in January.

And although Dominic Calvert-Lewin has shown glimpses of finding his vintage best in recent weeks, Everton simply can’t rely on the Englishman as their sole striker moving forward.

Middlesbrough are ready to sell Akpom, and Everton should act fast to beat the crowd to this proven goalscorer.