Everton’s spending spree in the summer transfer window has nothing been short of a statement of intent. The Toffees are desperate to mount a significant challenge for a Champions League spot in the upcoming season, though as the treacherous Premier League suggests, it’s getting tougher with each passing campaign.
Manager Ronald Koeman looks to add finishing touches on what has been a satisfying shopping outing. The Dutchman is actively seeking a striker who could replace Romelu Lukaku, the latter who left for the greener pastures of Manchester United for a whopping £75m fee that could reach the £90m figure with potential add-ons.
Even though Wayne Rooney is back to his boyhood club and his 30-meter strike in the pre-season friendly earlier this week would suggest he is ready to lead the attack, it appears Koeman wouldn’t take chances with the 31 old for the entire season.
Everton have already signed Sandro Ramirez from Malaga earlier in the summer, but the Spaniard’s inexperience might not see him being the focal point of attack at Goodison Park. The 21-year-old netted 16 goals in 31 appearances last term but the conditions in England is significantly different from that in southern Europe. Swansea’s Gylfi Siggurdson has been heavily linked but the Welsh side are unwilling to budge on their £50m asking price for the Iceland international.
Thus, Koeman is expected to bring his cheque out to sign an in and out forward who could lead the line up front. Here are three strikers he could choose from.
Olivier Giroud: Alexandre Lacazette’s arrival at the Emirates is certain to impact Olivier Giroud’sfuture at Arsenal. It remains to be seen if manager Arsene Wenger uses both of his forwards together by tweaking his natural 4-2-3-1 formation. There have been suggestions that Wenger could revert to a back three to accommodate both of the strikers, something he has rarely done in the past few years.
Everton thus could make a cheeky offer for the Frenchman who wouldn’t love to play second fiddle to his countryman and would like to move to a club which would give him an assured starting eleven spot. Giroud, in fact, leads the line for his country ahead of Lacazette and with the World Cup just around the horizon, the 30-year-old would love to keep it that way in the coming months. Giroud, like Lukaku, is extremely adept at holding the ball up front and bringing others into play around him, something which would fit into Koeman’s vision for the Toffees.
Christian Benteke: Another striker who fits in perfectly into Koeman’s philosophy would be Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke. The Belgian who is strong and powerful with a deadly finish could aid Everton’s push for a top four next season. Benteke would also jump at the opportunity to prove his critics wrong after his disappointing spell at Liverpool, where much was expected out of him.
However, it remains to be seen if Palace sell the player who only joined the south London club last season for a significant transfer fee of £27m. The Belgian netted 15 times last season, making an immediate impact, has 3 years remaining on his contract which means Everton would have to pay over the wall to get the deal done.
Salomon Rondon: West Brom’s Venezuelan power house Salomon Rondon is another option for Koeman. Rondon would also love to move to a club which has higher ambitions than West Brom and to a place where he can develop his playing attributes and can make a name for himself. The 27-year-old, however, isn’t as mobile as Everton would look for in a striker but given that the player is still 27, he can develop under the right guidance.
Moreover, Rondon is a threat to any defense in the final third and with his strength to thwart defenders past his stride comes handy for any side which acquires his signatures. West Brom, though, wouldn’t be willing to part with their prized asset and have proved to be tough negotiators in the past over transfer dealings.
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