Everton set sights on relegated Nigerian Adebayo to replace injury-prone Calvert-Lewin

Everton are interested in signing Nigeria striker Elijah Adebayo, who impressed for Luton Town during the 2023/24 English Premier League season.

The 26-year-old scored 10 goals in 27 appearances for the Hatters in their maiden Premier League season. His first of those coming in a 2-1 defeat against Burnley on October 3, before netting his first away goal of the season in a 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest two weeks later.

Despite it being an absolutely rewarding and satisfying adventure, it came to a disappointing end after they were relegated. Adebayo performed admirably in a side who were always fighting against the odds to preserve their status in the top division.

Rob Edwards' side is preparing for offers for several of their key players, including Adebayo, this summer following their relegation from the Premier League.

Everton manager Sean Dyche is a significant admirer of the 26-year-old, and sources at TEAMtalk suggest that he views him as a crucial addition to his plans at Goodison Park.

The Toffees endured a difficult campaign in the recently concluded season, finishing 15th with 40 points from 38 games. They scored just 40 goals and conceded 51, boasting one of the best defensive performances of the league season.

Dyche is determined to bolster his side with more attacking power for the next season and believes that Adebayo's qualities would complement his team perfectly.

Adebayo's final goal of the season ironically came against Dyche's men in a 1-1 draw on May 3.

Adebayo received a nomination for Premier League Player of the Month in January and was in contention for a call-up to the Super Eagles squad facing Ghana and Mali in March. Unfortunately, an injury setback derailed his momentum, keeping him out for 11 league matches.

Why signing Elijah Adebayo would be a shrewd move for Everton

Adebayo, known for his physicality and ability to hold up play, would bring a new dimension to Everton's attacking lineup.

Standing at 6'4″, Adebayo possesses the strength and aerial prowess to trouble defenders and provide a focal point in the box.

Under Sean Dyche's pragmatic approach, Adebayo's attributes would complement Everton's style of play perfectly. Dyche's system often relies on a strong, physical presence up front to hold up play and bring midfielders into attacking positions.

Adebayo's ability to link up play, win aerial duels, and create space for his teammates would provide Dyche with tactical flexibility and an additional goal-scoring threat.

Everton set their sights on relegated Nigerian forward Elijah Adebayo to replace injury-prone Calvert-Lewin
Photo by Icon Sport

Moreover, Adebayo's presence would allow Dominic Calvert-Lewin to thrive with more competition and support in the target man role.

Together, they could form a formidable partnership, with Adebayo's physicality and Calvert-Lewin's finishing ability posing a constant threat to opposition defences.

Signing the burly Adebayo would not only bolster Everton's attacking options but also provide Dyche with the depth and flexibility needed to improve their goal-scoring record and compete more effectively in the Premier League in the season ahead.

Which other clubs are interested in Adebayo?

He has also been linked with Crystal Palace and Bournemouth in recent weeks. Bournemouth, in particular, faces the risk of losing star striker Dominic Solanke, who was one of the most prolific marksmen in the English top-flight in the just-concluded campaign.

While no price tag has been mentioned for this potential move, Adebayo's impressive form in his sole season of top-flight football demonstrates that he would be a shrewd option for clubs aiming to enhance their goalscoring output.

Adebayo's journey – from League Two to Nigeria striker?

Elijah Adebayo began his football journey with Fulham at the under-9 level before gaining experience through loan spells with Slough Town and Bognor Regis Town. In January 2018, he moved on loan to Cheltenham Town.

On July 7, 2018, he joined Swindon Town in League Two on a season-long loan, before moving to Stevenage on January 31, 2019. Released by Fulham at the end of the 2018–19 season, he signed with Walsall in June 2019.

On February 1, 2021, Adebayo transferred to Luton Town in the Championship for an undisclosed fee. He made an impactful debut by scoring in a 1–1 draw against Millwall on February 23, 2021.

Compared to some of the Super Eagles-eligible players, Adebayo feels like low-hanging fruit, the sort that Nigeria only needs to reach out and pluck.

Adebayo has expressed his intention to play for the Super Eagles and could be a new Nigeria striker.

His sentiments carry emotional weight, as he reflected on the significance of his decision for his family, particularly his mother's pride.

Everton set their sights on relegated Nigerian forward Elijah Adebayo to replace injury-prone Calvert-Lewin
Photo by Icon Sport

“I would like to play for Nigeria,” he affirmed, emphasising the profound impact it would have on his mother's happiness and pride if he turned out for the Super Eagles.

Speaking on the possibility of playing for England, Adebayo maintains an open stance, stating, “It would be a case of whichever comes first.”

It is unlikely Finidi George would ponder it, though, considering he already is available to him — from Victor Osimhen to Victor Boniface and everyone in-between — the richest array of attacking talent any Nigeria trainer could dream of.

With the Super Eagles set to face South Africa and Benin in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month, Adebayo’s profile will be a useful alternative to have in the team if the going gets tough for Osimhen and Boniface.

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Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
His passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have established him as a trusted authority in sports journalism in Ghana, captivating audiences with his engaging narratives and unparalleled expertise.
Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.