Sep 122014

It was the last-ditch deadline day deal that left Everton FC scratching their heads.

David Henen had spent most of the summer training at Finch Farm and his signing from Anderlecht seemed a formality.

Then as the midnight hour approached on September 1 it suddenly emerged that the 18-year-old had joined Greek side Olympiakos and then immediately been loaned to Everton for 12 months.

So far, so surreal.

In the digital age even the transfer of a teenager solely intended to play for the club’s U-21s attracts hyperbole and this was definitely a case of that.

In truth, hyperbole is something which has dogged the forward’s career, in so much as an 18-year-old has had one, since he was old enough to sign school-boy terms for his local club.

Such is the nature of football that if a youngster shows potential on the scale which Henen did, everyone knows about it.

Chief scouts at all the big clubs get jittery and every director of football in Europe wants the inside track on the kids being talked up as the next Messi or Ronaldo.

That was the case with Henen, and as he progressed the unfortunate result was that young David began to fully believe his own hype.

By the time he was loaned to Monaco last season, the teenager already had the attitude of a superstar without the track record to justify it.A switch to the mega-rich French club was meant to help him acclimatise to the environs of a big club but it back-fired.

Luckily for Henen his agent, Christophe Henrotay, is an experienced and skilled operator who wants the best for his clients.

He also represents Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku, and has a solid working relationship with Bill Kenwright and Roberto Martinez.

Hence why this gifted young man ended up at Finch Farm with a chance of fulfilling his potential on Merseyside.

Martinez was keen to play Henen down, and provide him with a period out of the limelight to develop like a normal young player away from the head-turning and distractions.

He still wants to do that, but took the decision that he was not willing to spend £300,000 on a player who may go either way in terms of his future.

Instead Olympiakos took the gamble, but already knew Henen would only join them if he was given the chance to go and prove himself on Merseyside.

Everton have an agreement to buy him for £500,000 at the end of the loan period if he has convinced Martinez he can knuckle down. The Greeks, on their part, make £200,000 profit and Everton have the peace of mind they are spending half a million on a real talent and not a wayward rebel. If not Olympiakos keep him and that becomes their problem.

It’s unlikely Henen will be used in the first team this season, unless he really shines and proves himself in the second part of the campaign, but he may yet have the chance to be a bona-fide star. It’s up to him.

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 Posted by at 9:08 pm

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