La Liga champions Atletico Madrid have taken steps to sign Mohamed-Ali Cho from Angers just one year after the teen sensation left Everton without signing a professional contract, as reported by Le10 Sport.
The Toffees may have lifted the Premier League 2 title twice since 2017, while offering first-team opportunities to the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies and Mason Holgate, but perhaps it’s not all wine and roses behind the scenes at Finch Farm.
Thierry Small swapped Merseyside for Southampton in August just seven months after becoming the youngest debutant in Everton’s history – much to the dismay of a devastated David Unsworth.
17-year-old Cho, meanwhile, is blossoming on the other side of the Channel after walking away from Goodison Park. He became only the second player born in 2004 to score in one of Europe’s top five leagues, joining Borussia Dortmund wonder kid Youssoufa Moukoko in an exclusive club while making most of us feel more decrepit.
In fact, Cho has been so impressive at coupon-busting, fourth-placed Angers one of Europe’s biggest clubs has come calling just 30 games into his Ligue 1 career.
Atletico Madrid eye former Everton prospect Mohamed-Ali Cho
According to Le10 Sport, Diego Simeone’s title-winning Atletico have made contact with Angers regarding a deal that could see Cho go from Merseyside to Madrid in less than two years.
Not that Cho, more mature than your average 17-year-old, is getting carried away.
“I’ll stay grounded. My close circles help me with that, the coach too, who tells me to keep working and keep aiming higher. I’m not too worried about the headlines,” says Cho, who was recently nominated for the 2021 Golden Boy award alongside Mason Greenwood, Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka and Liverpool-linked Karim Adeyemi.
“During pre-season, I worked hard on my physical condition. It’s fair to say my cardio has improved, and tactically I learned a lot too.
“The coach (Gérald Baticle) is a former striker. He played the same position as me so he knows how I feel, how I try to play, and he gives me tips during games. He’s also very demanding with me. I like that. I’m trying to learn as much as possible.”