Sean Dyche is now close to bolstering his attacking options with the signing of Southampton striker Che Adams, who is poised to join in a £15m deal, subject to the completion of his medical, with Brown revealing he has been a long-term target, saying:
“It looks like Everton probably will get Adams. I think they’ve obviously been trying to find a deal for him for quite a long time. He’s been on their radar for many months.
“It looks like Southampton are willing sellers, and it’s not too far away from being done now, so I think Everton are likely to have a new number nine coming in which is good in a number of ways.”
After seeing an initial £12m offer for Adams rejected, the Toffees expressed an interest in signing Balde, according to talkSPORT, who detail that Troyes would be willing to let their striker leave for a fee of around £7m this summer.
Although that report seemed to suggest the 27-year-old could come in alongside Adams, with Dyche said to be in the market for “new forwards”, Brown does not believe that is the case.
In an interview with GiveMeSport, the journalist suggested the Troyes forward is likely to be an alternative option to Adams, although Everton’s interest is real:
“It looks like there’s genuine interest there. It feels a little bit like he’s a backup option in case something goes wrong with a move for someone else. For instance, if Che Adams doesn’t come off, it feels like he might be on the list. Also, there are other clubs looking at this guy too, though. So, it may be that Everton are not really in the lead for him. We will see.”
How many goals has Mama Balde scored?
Across a total of 174 professional appearances with Desportivo Aves, Dijon FCO and Troyes, the Guinnea-Bissau international has scored 41 goals, while he has also found the back of the net for his country on two occasions.
Although those numbers do not suggest the former Desportivo Aves man is particularly prolific, he has predominantly played on the right wing, and he is extremely versatile, having also filled in at right-back on a number of occasions.
In his last 50 matches, Troyes’ “key man”, as dubbed by journalist Josh Bunting, has started to make the centre forward position his own, featuring in that area on 31 occasions, and his goal record has dramatically improved, scoring 12 goals in 34 Ligue 1 games last season.
Brown has indicated that Balde may be a back-up option for Adams, but there is no reason why he cannot be brought in alongside him, given that he is able to play in a number of positions, and he is available for just £7m.
Dyche’s priority may well be to get a deal for Adams over the line, given that he has been a long-term target, but the manager shouldn’t discount a move for the Guinea Bissau star in the latter stages of the transfer window.