The Search for a new No.9
The second of this 3 part feature into Everton`s recruitment will look into potential targets the club will be looking at this summer.
This post will look at 5 strikers which would fit with the attributes and criteria governing potential targets Moyes is looking to bring to L4.
A quick look through Moyes post match quotes this campaign gives you the clues as to what he and his scouting network will be looking at this summer.
At the derby game at Anfield, Moyes bemoaned a lack of physical presence to enable us to hold the ball up, something Beckford has showed at Old Trafford recently that he is not equipped to provide (yet). With Yakubu`s Everton career over we need somebody who can provide this. Saha/Cahill have the capability but in reality you will only get them available for 20-25 games per season max due to injury/international leave.
Physicality is key then, as is proven goal scoring ability. This may seem obvious when scouting strikers but in the cases of Yakubu and Anichebe this season it is clear that physicality alone will not suffice for what we require. For me, the days of the 20 league goals in a season striker is over - only 11 players have achieved this tally in the past 7 years in the top flight so I`d say we are looking for someone with the capability of a 15 goal return.
A proven ability to do this in a top flight division is desirable but in reality these players are at a premium and thus financially out of our reach. Therefore, the lower leagues are 'in scope` for our striker. Cost is obviously key for our club - as mentioned in last week`s post about recruitment, the club is looking to invest in young players eager to develop their careers which represent potential sell on value….so lets ignore players 26 and above who would represent little in terms of sell on value.
Our requirement then is a striker with a strong physical presence, capable of 15 goals a season and under 26 who could be plying their trade inside or outside top level football. Based on my knowledge of the world and domestic market here are 5 potential players we could look to move for this season that fits the above criteria.
1. Rondon (Malaga)
This young Venezuelan forward currently playing for Malaga fits the bill in terms of ability and age - at just 21 years old the striker certainly has the capability - 13 goals from 28 starts this campaign is an impressive return in La Liga. This strong and powerful front man is capable of playing with his back to goal and equally comfortable running in behind defences utilizing his strength and pace in 1 on 1 situations. Moyes has watched Rondon in recent months and is keen on a deal. The only issue would be the fee: the striker is rumoured to have a 20m euro buy out clause in his contract although in reality around 12m euro would presumably be enough to secure his services - a fee the Blues could stretch to if as expected we offload some of the dead wood.
2. Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (AZ)
This 21 year old Icelandic striker has had a storming breakthrough season in the Dutch Eredivsie, registering a1 in2 ratio with 15 goals from 30 starts for his club side AZ Alkmaar. Sigthorsson is tall, good in the air and can hold the ball up well - in addition to this he is comfortable with either foot. Looking at the negatives, the Dutch league has in recent years exported several striking flops to these shores, (Alfonso Alves springs to mind) so whilst we could probably secure his services for an economical £4-5m it would represent something of a risk.
3. Papiss Demba Cisse (Freiburg)
Freiburg`s 25 year old free scoring Senegalese striker has hit new heights this campaign plundering a glut of goals to make him one of the Bundesliga`s most feared forwards. Signed from Metzin 2009 for £1.5m where he previously had a1 in3 ratio, the rangy forward has hit 28 goals in 46 starts in the German top flight. In addition to this he has averaged almost goal a game ratio for his national side. The 6ft striker has decent physique and a good turn of pace meaning he certainly fits our requirement. Again, cost might be an issue but a fee in the region of £8m would secure his services.
4. Nathan Junior (Skonto Riga)
Title winner and top scorer with 18 goals last year for his club side Skonto Riga, 21 year old Brazilian born Nathan Junior was rejected as a kid from Flamengo before travelling to Europe to seek fame and fortune. With great physique, he is tall and has decent acceleration plus an eye for goal…. the Samba star looks to have a great career ahead of him. Whilst cost wouldn`t be a factor (he is valued at around £5m) the extent of his top flight experience thus far is restricted to Cyprus and Latvia, so it would represent something of a risk.
5. Pablo Daniel Osvaldo (Espanyol)
The 25 year old Argentine born forward has been re born since moving from Italy to Spain last year. Since switching to La Liga he has registered 18 goals to his credit from 40 starts, form which led Fiorentina to snap him up from Lecce for big money as a 21 year old. Despite being born in Buenos Aires, Osvaldo has represented Italyat u21 level and sees his future international career with the Azzuri. Moyes was in residence for Espanyol`s recent game against Athletico Bilbao to keep tabs on the impressive forward, who is also being tracked by Newcastle and Dirty Arry…. so the Blues face competition if they are to secure his services.
Some Long shots.………
Vedan Ibisevic is a Bosnian hitman currently playing for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, 2 Years ago he was the leagues top scorer hitting19 goals as his club hit the league summit before a serious injury curtailed his season and the clubs title tilt.. This year he has been back on form, although at 27 he would represent little sell on value…….. Karim Ansarifard is a 20 year old Iranian forward schooled by the great Ali Daei. He has great physicality and an eye for goal. Bundesliga champions Dortmund are sniffing around and would appear at the moment to be in the box seat for his signature, but it would be a relatively low cost signature. …..Top scorer at Reading this season, Irish forward Shane Long has emerged as Reading`s top marksmen this campaign with 21 goals from 41 starts representing his most prolific spell in English football. Moyes has shown in the past he has no qualms with moving players up from the Championship so this could be a potential deal.
Next week; Final part of this 3 part post looks into the creative issue which has dogged us all campaign and the 5 targets which DM will be looking at to fill this creative void.
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