Timothy Weah was one of the shining stars for the United States men’s national team at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, starting all four matches and scoring in their 1-1 draw against Wales. The forward has quickly become an integral part of the national team setup, but the same cannot be said about his club situation at Lille.
Now 22-years-old, Weah should look for a move out of France during the January transfer window. When Lille signed the USMNT forward from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2019, it looked like a great move for Weah. The teenager was going to a club that would give him every opportunity to develop. As time went on, his role in the team continued to grow and grow.
Weah had his best club season in the 2021-22 campaign, scoring three goals and netting four assists in 29 league appearances. The winger made 17 starts and played 1,616 Ligue 1 minutes, nearly doubling his minutes from the season prior.
The 2022-23 club season was one that was expected to see even more development for Weah, but it could not have gotten off to a worse start. He suffered a foot injury during training in the middle of August, something that would force him to miss seven games.
Even when Weah returned to action, first-year manager Paulo Fonseca continued to stick with Jonathan David, Jonathan Bamba and Adam Ounas in the attacking positions. An injury right at the beginning of the season certainly left a bad impression on his new coach.
Weah would make his first league start in a 1-0 loss at Lyon on Oct. 30, playing 69 minutes off the right flank. He would start the next two matches against Rennes and Angers, although Fonseca chose to play him as more of a right back. Lille came into this season with a lack of cover in both fullback positions, so Fonseca was forced to play a winger from a much deeper position.
Even after his strong performances at the World Cup, Weah is fully fit and still playing as a fullback. In recent weeks, the forward has found himself starting at left back, something that has certainly frustrated USMNT fans. Yes, he may be performing well as a fullback, but his best position is on the wing.
Some of the clubs that have expressed interest in the forward include Everton, Brighton, Fulham, Sevilla and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Reports out of Lille are saying the French club are unwilling to let Weah leave in January, although a hefty transfer fee could potentially change their minds.
A potential move to Everton for Weah seems a bit more likely after the club missed out on Arnaut Danjuma, who is reportedly set to join Tottenham Hotspur on a six-month loan. The Toffees were on the brink of securing a deal with the Dutch international, but it looks as if talks fell through in the final stages.
Everton should be desperate to bring multiple attacking reinforcements in over the next week. Currently sitting 19th in the league, the reality is they are in the thick of a relegation battle. The higher ups at the club have to work diligently if they want any chance of surviving the drop come May.
Now that manager Frank Lampard has been sacked, it may be difficult to predict what kind of system the team will implement moving forward. Former Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhüttl is in contention for the job, although the club has yet to announce who will take over. While it may not be the best move for his overall development, Weah moving to Everton could offer him consistent minutes in his natural position.
Sure, there are some benefits that could come with a transfer to Everton, but it’s not the best option for Weah in the long-term. The other four clubs mentioned above play more free-flowing football with the goal to hit their opponents on the counter attack. That suits Weah more, especially for someone who has as much pace as he does.
If the player sees himself having more success outside of the Premier League, a move to Borussia Mönchengladbach is one that many would like to see. The style of the Bundesliga allows for a lot of space behind the defense. The quickness that Weah has would benefit him in that league as well.
Weah is a player that has a lot of quality, now it is just a matter of which club and coaching staff can put him in a position to show that, week in and week out. At this moment in time, Lille does not seem to provide the right situation for him. In order for Weah to reach the next level, he needs to leave the French side sooner rather than later.