By Paul Conatzer
This isn’t the first place where you’ll see the opinion that Everton need a striker who can convert chances on a regular basis. Nor will it be the last, until one arrives.
It’s a week into the January Transfer Window and there have been no announcements from the Everton offices. So using my vast network of scouts (Football Manager, people I know/follow on Social Media and videos on YouTube), here’s four possible candidates to lead the Everton line and follow in the footsteps of Dixie Dean, Tommy Lawton, Joe Royle, Bob Latchford and Graeme Sharp.
So here’s the four: (in no particular order)
1. Fernando Llorente, Tottenham, 33. He hasn’t played much since leaving Swansea in 2017 after scoring 15 goals in 38 games. Of course, backing up Harry Kane would keep most on the bench. However, he did demonstrate that he still has an eye for goal after a hat-trick in Spurs 7-0 demolition of Tranmere in FA Cup. The fact that he would cup-tied could make him less attractive.
2. Kasper Dolberg, Ajax, 21. This might be a bit of a reach, but the Danish centre-forward is valued at 17 million euros by TransferMarkt.com and could be a great capture at that price. So far this season, he’s scored seven goals in 11 games and has 29 goals in 66 matches during three season at Ajax. However, the Davey Klaassen experience might make Everton extra careful with players from the Dutch League.
3. Timo Warner, RB Leipzig, 22. Warner would be a great capture for Everton. He’s scored 45 goals in 80 Bundesliga games. And a number of other teams including Liverpool and Bayern Munich are interested in Werner. However, if Everton are willing to include winger Ademola Lookman in a part-exchange deal it could swing the deal in Everton’s favour. Lookman impressed during a half-season loan at the German club last season.
4. Oliver Giroud, Chelsea, 32. He was Ronald Koeman’s top target last season, however Giroud’s wife didn’t want to leave London. After scoring 73 league goals in six seasons at Arsenal, he moved on to Chelsea where his appearances have been limited. At 6-foot-4, he should benefit from Lucas Digne’s ability to get in a good cross.
Everton manager Marco Silva has been circumspect when talking about possible additions in January, telling the Liverpool Echo if Everton were to make moves in January then it would be a sign they had not done “everything well” in the summer and he has reiterated his belief the Blues made smart signings in July and August. And though the 41-year-old says every coach in the world would want to add players to their squads in January, he is relaxed about his options heading into the second-half of the season.