It’s now almost eight months since Everton missed their chance to sign Danish international midfielder Thomas Delaney.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton had scouted the 26-year-old last summer when he was making a name for himself in his homeland with Copenhagen but did not follow through on their initial interest, allowing Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen to swoop in and agree a £1.5 million deal before loaning him back to Copenhagen until January.
However, Everton had obviously become aware of the error of their ways in the mid-season window and offered Bremen £8 million for Delaney’s signature – before he had even made his debut for the German giants. Unsurprisingly, Bremen rejected the offer and Delaney stepped up to help them steer clear of relegation in an excellent second half of the season.
And while Ronald Koeman’s side are hardly short of midfielders right now, adding Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson to their collection, Delaney has nonetheless reminded Everton what they could have had during the international break.
Not content with converting a well-placed header in a stunning 4-0 victory over Poland, Delaney followed it up with a clinical hat-trick during Monday’s 4-1 thrashing of Armenia to put Denmark level on points with Montenegro in second place in World Cup qualifying Group E.
The Danish number eight followed a perfectly timed late run into the box with a thumping header before firing home a fierce 25-yard stunner into the far corner. Another header from another set-piece gave Delaney, who had scored just three Denmark goals prior to the international break, his hat-trick.
Koeman said at the start of the season that he wanted his midfielders to chip in with more goals this season. Signing Delaney would certainly have made that aim a little easier.