Premier League

Which Striker Should Everton Sign In January?

 • by James Nalton
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Olivier Giroud has recently revealed how close he was to joining Everton in the summer transfer window, but his words also suggest that a deal is unlikely to happen in January.

“I had the opportunity to leave Arsenal,” he told Canal Plus. “I was very close to another English club, Everton. But I think I made the best choice.”

If the Frenchman believes he made the right choice in the summer, it’s unlikely that he’d change his mind in January when Everton were rumoured to be planning another bid.

With that in mind, we’ve assessed five other centre forwards Ronald Koeman’s side could look at as they seek to replace some more of Romelu Lukaku’s strengths.

Salomón Rondón

The Venezuelan striker has only started three of West Bromwich Albion’s seven league games this season, which is surprising given his all-round qualities up front.

The 28-year-old’s combination of strength, height, and considerable technique, with some pace thrown in for good measure, sounds ideal for Tony Pulis’s side, but he has found game time difficult to come by.

He scored his first goal of the season in a recent draw at Watford, and has also scored in the League Cup against Accrington Stanley.

Last season he managed eight goals and two assists in 32 starts and, while he’s not the most prolific goalscorer, he will help gel the team together in the attacking third, occupying opposition defenders which then leaves space for the more pacy or creative players.

He would also provide a target for crosses from Leighton Baines and offer an aerial outlet if the team become short of ideas on the deck, as has often been the case lately.

Stefano Okaka

While Rondon may feel aggrieved to only be starting the odd game here and there, then Watford’s Italian striker Okaka will be more unsettled as he is even more out of the picture at his club.

The former Roma, Sampdoria, and Anderlecht striker has shown brief glimpses of his ability during his time at Vicarage Road, but his career there has been interrupted by injury and fluctuating form.

However, the 28-year-old has several features to his game which could replace Lukaku. He boasts a good amount of pace and strength, and he could bring many of the things Rondón would.

He’s not featured since starting and scoring in the first game of the season against Liverpool, and will no doubt be looking to move in January.

Seydou Doumbia

Throughout his career the Ivorian has regularly been linked with a move to the Premier League, but his football experience in England is limited to a few appearances for Newcastle in 2016.

He had an excellent scoring record at BSC Young Boys and CSKA Moscow, which came in at well over one goal per game, but since leaving Russia he has been unable to settle and is currently on loan at Sporting CP from Roma.

This means he may not be able to move until the end of the season unless the clubs terminate his loan deal. While he might be a player who is able to replace Lukaku’s scoring record, getting a deal done in January could be difficult.

Raúl Jiménez

The 26-year-old has been on the books at Benfica for just over two seasons now, but still struggles to get regular game time. The 6ft 1ins Mexican is a bit of an all rounder, and could lead the line well if not spectacularly.

His struggle for regular starts is reflected in his goal return, which stands at 25 in 89 games for the club. But as many of these appearances will have been second-half introductions from the bench, that isn’t such a bad record.

While he may not fit his current club’s first team plans, he could be exactly what Everton need. They could even use him as Benfica do, offering a different dynamic from the bench.

Edinson Cavani

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Given the strides Everton are supposedly making off the pitch, their signings have yet to reflect their ambition.

Though record signing Gylfi Sigurðsson was a statement of intent, the Icelander is still not quite the marquee player that many of the clubs challenging for the top four will be signing.

Even moneyball neighbours Liverpool have splashed the cash on the likes of Mohamed Salah and Naby Keïta, while there could also be a return for long-term Liverpool transfer target Virgil van Dijk in January. But Everton could trump them with the capture of Cavani.

The Uruguayan workhorse is still working out whether he and Neymar can coexist, and a substantial offer from Koeman’s side to both himself and the club could make his mind up.

While he is often criticised for his finishing he boasts an outstanding goalscoring record at all his clubs, and the work rate he offers in forward areas is unmatched.

He would bring much more than just a marquee name to Goodison Park, and with league titles and cup wins under his belt, he would add plenty of winning experience.

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