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Everton’s issues at the top of the attack are laid bare for everyone to see this season. Having sold star striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United in the summer, the Toffees have failed to adequately replace the big Belgian striker and as a result, are struggling in the new campaign.
The Toffees find themselves in the relegation zone in the Premier League, sitting 18th in the Premier League after 5 games. Their UEFA Europa League campaign too did not get off to a great start as they were trounced 3-0 by Serie A side Atalanta last week.
Manager Ronald Koeman finds himself under serious pressure just a month into the new campaign and things need to get sorted out fast, if his Everton side are to meet their lofty ambitions. The club did sign two strikers in the summer, in the form of promising young talent Sandro Ramirez from Malaga and former academy graduate Wayne Rooney who returned to the club from Manchester United, after 13 years.
Yet, neither of them have been able to fill the void Lukaku has left. Rooney, for all his quality and experience, looks like a spent force with each passing game, while Sandro, as is the case with any young player moving to England from abroad, is taking time to get used to the conditions and settle in. So, bringing in another striker in the January transfer window has to be a top priority for the Merseysiders.
One name that the Toffees were looking at in the summer could be available for sale in the winter window, after Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock revealed in a recent press conference that the club would sell star striker Kenneth Zohore in January if a big offer came in.
As quoted by BBC Sport, Warnock said:
“But what I have said to them [Cardiff hierarchy] is, he [Zohore] is not going to go down in price. So, if we are not in the top eight at Christmas and they want to sell him, it would not go against what I wanted.
“It would not bother me in that respect. I would not want to sell him but it would not bother me if they said that.”
The 23-year old Zohore emerged as a surprise target for Everton towards the end of the transfer window, with the Daily Mail claiming that Koeman wanted to make a late swoop for the Denmark striker. However, with Cardiff not willing to sell, no move materialised at the time. Now, with the manager opening the window for a possible sale, should Everton rekindle their interest?
Zohore first moved to the Welsh club in February 2016, on loan from Belgian side KV Kortrijk, scoring twice in 12 games until the end of the season. Despite not scoring heavily, Cardiff signed him on a permanent deal in the summer of 2016 and the 23-year old repaid the faith, finishing as the club top-scorer in the 2016/17 campaign with 12 goals in 29 Championship games, while registering 5 assists to go with them.
The Denmark U21 international started off the new season with a goal against Burton Albion on the opening day, but has gone off the boil ever since, having failed to find the back of the net in the seven following games. He has two assists to his name though.
Standing well over 6ft, Zohore is a strong and physically imposing forward, who is extremely strong in the air that makes him a big threat from set-piece situations, while also enabling him to hold play up at the top and play flick-ons and knock-downs. The 23-year old has won 4.3 aerial duels per ninety minutes this season, indicating his strength in that facet of the game.
But it is not just strength and physicality that he brings to the table, as he also possesses good pace. He is a more than decent dribbler of the ball as well. He completed 9 dribbles successfully from an attempted 14 at the rate of 1.2 successful dribbles per 90 mins last season, which isn’t a bad number for a forward.
The Danish forward may be going through a dry spell at the moment, but that doesn’t make him a bad player overnight. Even through this drought, Zohore has managed to register two assists and create 7 clear-cut goal-scoring chances for his teammates, indicating that he can contribute to the team with more than just goals.
The 23-year old may not be the biggest of the names, but has several attributes that are similar to what Lukaku brought to the table for Everton. He may not be on a great run of form right now, but with improved service, there is a strong chance that he will find the net with greater regularity. And if things don’t improve for the Toffees before January, a move for Zohore could prove to be a smart piece of business.