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Almost a week after the deal appeared close, Everton finally confirmed the signature of Bosnian international midfielder Muhamed Besic today. The 21-year-old arrives in a £4m deal from Ferencvaros in Hungary, and impressed at the World Cup for Bosnia and Herzegovina. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez spoke highly of the former Hamburg youngster, giving Everton fans an insight into Besic's game.
"We have followed him for a while," said Martinez. "He was playing for Bosnia Under-21s the first time we saw him. He played with an impressive arrogance and an impressive understanding of how to play from the back and having real strong concepts in his positional play and technical ability."
"The way he played against top players in the World Cup - the way he marked Lionel Messi, the way he played against Argentina, the way he played in a really open game against Nigeria - they were really good games to evaluate the value of 'Mo' and the potential he has as a player at such a young age."
With a new holding midfielder now signed up, Everton look set to turn their attention to attack, where they still need to resolve their striking situation. Loan striker Romelu Lukaku is back at Chelsea, but after the Blues signed Didier Drogba, speculation over the weekend suggested that the Belgian would be returning to Merseyside - and Martinez was particularly coy over that subject.
"There have been a lot of reports, some even saying I’ve told people it [a deal for Lukaku] is done, but the situation is very clear," he said. "We need a number nine going into the start of the season and we will make sure we sign one. Rom created incredible memories we’ll never forget and enjoyed his time at Everton – but that doesn’t mean anything between now and the end of the window."
"Everything is in the air and you can imagine there are options on the table," added the Spaniard. "We will carry on working hard to assemble the strongest squad possible. We need to make the right decisions between now and the end of the window."
Despite the arrival of Besic and Gareth Barry, Everton could still look to make another addition to their midfield. Almeria midfielder Ramon Azeez, who played for Nigeria at the World Cup in Brazil this summer, is reportedly attracting interest from the Toffees. The 21-year-old is highly rated by the La Liga outfit, but with a £3.3m release clause, they'd have no option but to sell if Everton match that value.