Neal Maupay “won’t be going anywhere” according Paul Brown, after a season at Everton that has the journalist feeling “sorry” for the striker.
It hasn’t worked out for the Frenchman since was signed from Brighton for £15million last summer [BBC Sport] in the wake of Richarlison’s departure, scoring just once all season and often being overlooked even in the absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
He has been linked to a departure for Salernitana at the conclusion of the campaign, but Brown isn’t convinced his time at the club will end after a year.
The former Daily Star journalist told GIVE ME SPORT: “I think Maupay won’t be going anywhere. This season has been a bit of a disaster for both him and the club. At times I felt a bit sorry for him because Everton don’t really play in the kind of way that suits him.
“He’s not someone you can just stick up front on his own and expect to do very much. He needs people around him to play one-two’s off and feed off of other people.”
His time at Brighton made Maupay look like a reasonable signing a year ago, but he wasn’t a like-for-like Richarlison replacement, and certainly not a ready-made stand in for the often-injured Calvert-Lewin.
Slotting him straight in as the central striker in a 4-3-3 suggests that Frank Lampard hadn’t really assessed the merits of bringing the 26-year-old to Merseyside, and while Sean Dyche did belatedly switch to a 4-4-2, the damage that did to the midfield solidity negated anything beneficial in attack.
Salernitana coming back in for a move they apparently wanted prior to his Everton deal would surely be the best option for everyone, as Maupay can’t be enjoying himself any more than the fans are enjoying him struggle to find the net.
It is easy to say in hindsight but for all his merits as a player it doesn’t appear that the situation he finds himself in at Everton is suitable to utilise them, and unless Dyche is set to move on it is hard to see a major change in the forward’s standing at the club.
Signing forwards has proven to be a major struggle for the Toffees in recent windows, and the one successful deal hasn’t eased the pressure on that situation.
The season has been a “disaster” for the ex-Seagulls man, and hasn’t been much better collectively, but if it is clear to other teams that he is just the wrong fit then his stock shouldn’t have fallen that much with teams that like him, although whether his price tag might have is another matter.