Everton

5 Strikers who could take Everton to the next level

 • by Matt Gault
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If, as expected, Everton sign André Gomes on a permanent basis from Barcelona, their attention in the transfer market must turn to bolstering their strikeforce.

The Toffees are possibly an elite striker away from cracking the top six. For all the praise heaped on Wolves last season, the Merseysiders, in their first season under Marco Silva, finished just three points behind.

Fifty-four goals is far from a paltry return; in fact, it was seven more than Wolves. However, it was telling that neither of their two leading scorers, Richarlison and Gylf Sigurðsson, played up front. The Brazilian was used mainly on the right while the Icelandic playmaker chipped in 14 goals from attacking midfield.

Silva has Cenk Tosun and Dominic Calvert-Lewin as out-and-out striking options but it’s clear Everton need more if they’re to return to European football.

Here, we identify five possible solutions.

Che Adams

The 22-year-old catapulted himself into the glare of Premier League clubs by scoring 22 goals for Birmingham City last season – more than doubling his previous best tally – to win the Players’ and Supporters’ Player of the Year Awards.

Also linked with Southampton, Adams is a physical, tenacious striker with a clinical streak.

Well-rounded, he has also shown a creative side over the last year, particularly in his formidable partnership with Lukas Jutkiewicz, managing more open-play shot assists (62) than any other Championship forward.

Clearly on an upward curve, Adams would greatly enhance Everton’s options and provide stiff competition to fellow young Englishman Calvert-Lewin.

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Aleksandar Mitrović

Speaking of physical strikers, few put themselves about as effectively as Mitrović.

Despite hitting 11 goals on his return to the Premier League, the Serb couldn’t save Fulham from relegation. He was, however, a rare bright spark for the Cottagers and his exploits have not gone unnoticed, with several clubs registering an interest in his services.

They include Everton who, according to Sky Sports, are ‘very interested’ in the 24-year-old.

It’s not hard to see why. Originally labelled as a wild man when he first joined Newcastle United in 2015, Mitrović has blossomed into an impressive line leader. Last season he won more aerial duels (240), prevailed in more defensive duels (337) and scored more headers (six) than any other Premier League striker.

His xG of 18.02 ranked him fourth, while he was seventh in overall open-play xContribution (xG + xA) with 19.89. With the creativity of Sigurðsson, Richarlison and Bernard behind him, ‘Mitro’ could be a hit at Goodison Park.

Mitrović

Jean-Kévin Augustin

A different type of striker to Mitrović, Augustin has been linked with Everton for several months, with The Telegraph confirming the Toffees’ interest in May.

The 22-year-old Frenchman is expected to leave RB Leipzig this summer. Signed from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, he has struggled to establish himself in the Bundesliga side’s first-team.

Keen to progress his career, he may be open to a Premier League move. His struggles at Leipzig should not mask his obvious quality, though. A natural finisher, Augustin boasts a prolific record for France’s underage teams and still managed to chip in with three goals in just 461 minutes of Bundesliga action in 2018/19.

A prospect who needs to be nurtured, Augustin can elevate this Everton side. However, given he is in the developmental stage like Calvert-Lewin, Silva may plump for someone more established.

Sébastien Haller

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If that is the case, Eintracht Frankfurt forward Haller is a hugely attractive candidate. The 24-year-old Frenchman is hot property after impressing alongside newly made galáctico Luka Jović, scoring 15 goals and notching nine assists to help Eintracht achieve Europa League qualification.

Another dominant presence in the air, Haller won more aerial duels than any other Bundesliga forward last season but often showed a more refined, creative side in the final third, often feeding Jović and linking up well with Ante Rebić.

Also linked with Manchester United, Haller would be a clever, intriguing option for Everton, a player who can ably perform a variety of duties in attack.

The German side are likely to demand a premium fee for the former France Under-21 international but, given his abilities as a scorer, creator and destroyer, he seems more than worth it.

David Neres

Another exciting continental candidate, Neres’ stock has risen thanks to his prominent role in Ajax‘s stirring Champions League run.

The Brazilian, currently on Copa América duty along with Richarlison, was a standout performer for the Amsterdam club against Real Madrid and Juventus, cementing his reputation as one of European football’s rising stars.

A versatile attacker capable of playing anywhere across the frontline, Neres created nearly as many goals as he scored, registering ten assists while finding the back of the net 12 times.

Like Haller, it would take a fee threatening Everton’s club-record (Richarlison, £50million) to prise Neres away from the Dutch champions. And while he is a player of tremendous promise, Silva may favour a more out-and-out goalscorer.

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