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Ishak Belfodil: Just Who Are Everton Close To Signing?

Thursday 12th January 2017
Everton are reportedly close to completing the signing of Ishak Belfodil from Standard Liège. £10.4 million is the fee agreed between the two clubs, but just who is Ishak Belfodil?

Everton have dipped their toe into the transfer market yet again adding players that Ronald Koeman has pleaded for in recent times. Adding to the £10 million signing Ademola Lookman from Charlton comes striker Ishak Belfodil. Belfodil currently plies his trade in Belgium for Standard Liège and is an Algerian international.

Belfodil began his career at Paris Saint-Germain where he failed to achieve a first team game, spending most his time at the Camp des Loges training centre. In 2007 he moved to Ligue 2 side Claremont Foot where he played for their U16 team. He scored nine of the teams first 15 goals at the start of the 2008/9 season, sparking interest from teams across Europe including Lyon, Manchester United and Chelsea. He ended up joining Lyon where he signed a three-year contract.
His Lyon career started slowly playing for the U18 squad, but at the start of the 2009/10 season, he was called up to the senior squad. After his first game for Lyon, a five-minute substitute appearance, he made his Champions League debut in a second-leg playoff round match against Anderlecht albeit another substitute appearance. Belfodil played just 10 games for Lyon before being shipped out on loan to Serie A side Bologna where again he made few appearances (eight) but he would stay in Italy after Parma paid Lyon €2.5 million for his services.

Whilst at Parma he played both as a striker and a left winger and in his first season for the club he scored eight goals in 33 games. 2013 saw Belfodil get his chance at a big club. Inter Milan paid Parma €5.75 million but once again he struggled to break into the first team and never starting a game for the side. He made eight appearances and again was sent off on loan, this time to Livorno where he failed to score and was relegated with the Amaranto.

In 2014 Belfodil returned to Parma, the clue where he had enjoyed his best form. However, he couldn't rediscover this form and to make matters worse, in 2015 Parma, were declared bankrupt during the season and Belfodil terminated his contract in May of that year. He has since had a brief spell in the UAE for Baniyas Club and he's been at Liège since the start of this season. In terms of his international career, Belfodil has scored two goals in 14 games for Algeria.

He's 25 years old and you'd struggle to see him get in the Everton starting 11 in front of Romelu Lukaku. But Koeman clearly desires strength in depth and Belfodil is a player moulded like Lukaku. He's powerful, big and will certainly be a handful for Premier League defenders when called upon by Everton. With Schneiderlin reportedly on his way to Goodison Park too Koeman is building a side to push for the top six.
Tom Staniszewski
I'm Tom and I'm currently a third year journalism student based in Southampton. I'm a Crystal Palace fan and get to as many games as I can. I enjoy watching football from various leagues across Europe and I plan to host a football related radio show in the near future.

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