Trevor Steven has claimed that Amadou Onana has gone backwards since joining Everton last summer.

While covering the Toffees’ defeat to Arsenal for talkSPORT, the former midfielder said that the Belgian has failed to reach the form that he showed in his first five or six games for the club.

Onana arrived at Goodison Park from Lille in a £33 million deal last season and was noticeably one of their best players as they narrowly avoided relegation, making 33 appearances in the Premier League.

The midfielder’s performances led to interest from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United this summer, though Everton’s huge asking price put off any suitors and he remained on Merseyside.

Onana has remained a regular under Sean Dyche, but is yet to impress so far this season. However, Steven thinks he has been underperforming for a lot longer than the past month.

Everton FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

After commentator Kevin Hatchard claimed that Onana had been a ‘big hit’ since joining Everton, Steven was quick to disagree.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “Has he been a big hit though I do question that?

“He started really well, didn’t he? But I don’t think he’s reached those kinds of performances that he had maybe in his first five or six games for Everton.”

Hatchard replied: “The numbers will tell you only [James] Tarkowski won more challenges, so I think he’s done a lot of work in that regard.

“But I think maybe the kind of lung-busting runs we were seeing in the first few games, I think they’ve become less and less of a factor.

“But in terms of his work without the ball, I think he has caught the eye.”

Steven responded: “You’re right, it’s with the ball that he’s really struggled.”

Is Amadou Onana really that good for Everton?

Onana never really looked like losing his place in Everton’s team last season, though they didn’t exactly have anyone better than him to bring in.

Doncaster Rovers v Everton - Carabao Cup Second Round
Photo by Tony McArdle – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

The coaching staff have already admitted that he shouldn’t have played as many games as he did, and perhaps it’s their lack of talent elsewhere that has made fans satisfied with his below-par performances.

Despite his links to some of the Premier League’s big boys, he seems far from reaching the levels of the best midfielders in the top flight. However, he is only 22 years old and will undoubtedly reach impressive heights under the right manager.

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