Everton’s resounding 5-1 destruction of high-flying Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium was a reminder that the club are languishing below their capabilities this season.
Sean Dyche’s outfit have spent the 2022/23 campaign battling against the threat of relegation and climbed from 19th in the table to 17th with only their third victory since Dyche took the reins of the club in January, two points above 18th-placed Leicester City with three matches to contest.
Dwight McNeil scored two goals and provided one assist in a sensational individual display, earning a 9.9 Sofascore match rating, while talisman Dominic Calvert-Lewin, still finding his feet after another season embroiled by injury issues, provided an assist to complement his goal against Leicester City in the previous fixture.
Sights will be firmly set on ensuring water is trod above the bottom three for the remainder of the term, now that such a galvanising victory has been clinched, and with tantalising hints of a cohesive attacking flow, it draws Neal Maupay’s situation to the fore.
Should Everton sell Neal Maupay?
At Brighton, Maupay was always viewed as a menacing and frustrating forward, piquing opposition with his irking demeanour and ruffling feathers before pouncing on opportunities that fell his way.
He was never the most prolific of strikers, but he was effective for the south coast club and scored 26 goals across his three Premier League terms with the Seagulls.
Signing for the Toffees from Brighton for £15m last summer, the 26-year-old has been anything but effective, scoring just one goal and assist apiece from 27 appearances across all competitions and starting just 11 times in the Premier League – including just once across the past ten matches in the division.
The “woeful” striker – as his “disaster” of a move to Everton was described by journalist Paul Brown earlier this season – ranks among the bottom 3% of forwards across Europe’s top five leagues for rate of goals per 90 over the past year via FBref, illustrating just how little he has contributed from an offensive standpoint.
Branded “embarrassing” by Alan Shearer, the £50k-per-weeek dud is failing to impress and then some, and with the budding rebirth of Calvert-Lewin starting to pick up steam, it is unlikely he will be entrusted with a starting berth again this season.
Past signs indicate that the Frenchman can find the back of the net, his exploits with Albion were preceded by a blistering campaign with Brentford, then in the Championship, that saw him plunder 25 goals from 43 outings.
But it’s just not working out at Goodison Park, and the most favourable route for all parties at this point is to instigate a summer transfer to provide both club and player with a clean slate.