Everton have been painfully poor so far in 2023/24, without a goal in three defeats before a 2-2 draw at Sheffield United.
Therefore it’ll be a huge relief for supporters to see Beto (£6.0m) sign from Udinese and immediately score in their midweek EFL Cup win, albeit against League Two’s bottom side Doncaster Rovers.
He cost the Toffees £26m – a hefty amount that will feel like pennies should he keep them away from relegation. The constant injuries of unreliable Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£5.8m) made this transfer essential.
So can the 25-year-old provide a constant stream of goals and what Fantasy Premier League (FPL) impact will he have?
We’ll attempt to answer that question below.
Born in Portugal but with Bissau-Guinean descent, a young Beto – full name Norberto Bercique Gomes Betuncal – was released by Benfica and thus began an upward battle through the lower leagues to eventually achieve his dreams.
Five years ago, he was still working in a local KFC alongside fifth-tier football.
|2022/23||Udinese||Serie A||23 (10)||10||1|
|2021/22||Udinese||Serie A||24 (4)||11||0|
|2021/22||Portimonense||Primeira Liga||3 (0)||2||0|
|2020/21||Portimonense||Primeira Liga||21 (9)||11||3|
|2019/20||Portimonense||Primeira Liga||0 (11)||0||0|
Yet his mental strength and determination ensured he never gave up. Soon he was at third-division side Olimpico Montijo in 2018 and netted 21 times, earning a move to top-flight outfit Portimonense.
“I had a positive mentality. I thought, ‘I’m tall, I’m strong, I’m fast – and you can’t train these things.’ If you’re slow, you’ll always be slow. So I have these skills – the techniques and the intelligence of the game, these things I can learn and improve.
“From there, with this self-confidence, I started to develop. I even told my team-mates, ‘I will become a footballer’, and I am proud of this fact. In my opinion, if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.” – Beto
After a couple of years, he was off to Serie A side Udinese. Known for nurturing unearthed gems from abroad, recent names off the conveyor belt include Rodrigo De Paul, Bruno Fernandes (£8.5m) and Seko Fofana.
His time at Le Zebrette was a mix of goalless streaks and promising form, netting a hat-trick against Cagliari in April 2022.
Everton made a big attempt to capture Beto in January, couldn’t agree on a fee and had to show lots of patience in finally getting their target over the line. In fact, his claim of being a supporter seems legitimate. There’s a video of him from years ago wearing an Everton shirt, as he idolised former Toffee Samuel Eto’o.
“It was a present from my high school friends because they knew I was an Everton fan. A big Lukaku fan in those times, Everton had a really good team and I used to watch all the games; Lukaku, Mirallas, Barkley, Baines, Coleman.” – Beto
At international level, Beto has no caps but was named in Portugal’s needlessly large preliminary World Cup squad with 54 others.
Just like he says, Beto is both tall and fast, giving Everton a 6ft 4in focal point to get on the end of their second-highest number of crosses (95) but also a prolific dribbler. His six successful take-ons were the most of all Gameweek 4 participants.
Three shots inside the box were recorded at Sheffield United and he looked bright in his cameo at Doncaster. The goal saw Beto outpace a defender to reach Amadou Onana‘s (£4.9m) through ball, poking first-time past the goalkeeper with a nice finish.
He later hit the post with a header and had another strike ruled out. Initial impressions are that he’s an all-rounder whose strengths are a good fit for the Premier League.
Nevertheless, the forward is not without weakness. He tends to mis-control the ball a little too often but perhaps a more direct playing style can masquerade this.
WHERE BETO FITS IN AT EVERTON
With Calvert-Lewin rarely fit and Neal Maupay (£4.9m) loaned out to Brentford, Beto walks straight into the starting XI for a side who – despite scoring a league-low of two goals – actually ranks joint-second for big chances (14). His task is to improve their 3.4% conversion rate.
“As a powerful striker who can carry the ball, hold up play, is strong in the air and works hard for the team, he has a lot of attributes that we hope can see him prove to be a success with Everton.” – Sean Dyche
Dwight McNeil (£5.4m) will be ready to start after the international break, loanee Jack Harrison (£5.5m) should be fit and Arnaut Danjuma (£5.5m) is now fully integrated into the side. Their attacking prospects will improve but the big question is whether Sean Dyche intends to start both Beto and an available Calvert-Lewin.
His Burnley side used a 4-4-2 system, which he spoke about at length here.
IS BETO WORTH BUYING IN FPL?
By the time back-to-back home games versus Luton Town and Bournemouth begin in Gameweek 7, we should know a bit more about whether Beto is a certain starter for Everton.
If so, he provides another interesting option in the £5.5m to £6.5m range.
The great early form of Yoane Wissa (£6.2m) has faded into two blanks, while rotation is forcing managers to ditch Joao Pedro (£5.5m). Team-mate Evan Ferguson (£5.9m) bagged a Gameweek 4 hat-trick.
Meanwhile, only Erling Haaland (£14.1m) beats Odsonne Edouard (£5.5m) for both attempts (19) and shots inside the box (18), whereas both Michail Antonio (£6.1m) and Dominic Solanke (£6.5m) have scored twice from four starts. Luton’s Carlton Morris (£5.5m) is nailed on, takes penalties and should drip-feed some occasional returns.
Owning a forward in this price region could prove to be fruitful and Beto certainly merits consideration.