Reports in the Daily Mail suggest that Bundesliga club Hamburg could be set to launch a £6million bid for Everton striker Nikica Jelavic.
The Croatian striker became a cult hero at Goodison Park, after making an explosive start to his career, but was disappointing last season.
Nikica Jelavic joined Everton in the winter transfer window in 2012. The Croatian arrived for a fee of around £6million from then SPL club Rangers.
He became an instant hit, as he plundered a very creditable 11 goals in just 16 appearances.
He became synonymous for scoring goals with just one touch of the ball. His first time finishes became commonplace in a blue shirt and he looked set to become an Everton hero.
Last season, Jelavic found the net just seven times in 37 Premier League appearances for the Toffees. His performance came as both a surprise and a disappointment to the Goodison faithful. At one point, the Croatian was even relegated to the Everton bench and Nigerian striker Victor Anichebe preferred as the team’s lone striker.
Like most strikers, Jelavic’s game is based on confidence. In the last campaign, Jelavic looked completely bereft of confidence. To coin an old phrase he looked like he could not hit a cow’s backside with a banjo.
Jelavic proved in his first half season at the club that does have the ability to find the net on a regular basis, if given the right service. I think most Evertonian’s still believe that Jelavic has the quality to lead the Toffees frontline.
Roberto Martinez’s arrival at Everton may be just the change that Jelavic needs to bring back that much needed confidence. Under David Moyes, defensive midfielder Marouane Fellaini found himself playing just behind the Croatian international as an attacking midfielder.
Fellaini became the focus of the Everton attack and the tactic negated Jelavic’s presence in attack. It led to Jelavic having to chase into corners and go looking to the ball. Unfortunately, these are not the best facets of Jelavic’s game.
Martinez’s passing style could again bring the best out of Jelavic. It seems that Martinez has returned Fellaini to his deeper role and this should lead to a more creative player playing behind the lone out-and-out striker.
This should mean more chances for Jelavic to use his excellent movement and one touch finishing. Martinez’s style could definitely benefit Jelavic in the new campaign.
One of the first signings Martinez made when he arrived on Merseyside was Ivory Coast international Arouna Kone from old club Wigan. This signing is believed to have unsettled Jelavic. However, it should not have done. Everton were in need of an extra striker.
The arrival of Kone will just bring increased competition for places in the team, which can only be a good thing. Victor Anichebe rivalled Jelavic for the striker spot last season, but the Nigerian is far from the complete striker.
On his day, Nikica Jelavic is a far better striker than Anichebe and probably Kone. Everton need to have attacking options, just in case Jelavic does go through another barren spell.
I think it would be a major mistake for Everton to sell Jelavic now. Everton need at least three options in attack and where could The Toffees get a player with the same ability as Jelavic for £6million? I doubt they could.
Everton could sell the Croatian to strengthen in other areas, but that would mean that their options in attack would be very limited next season.
It seems unlikely that Roberto Martinez would sell Jelavic this summer, unless the club received a ridiculous offer, which looks unlikely at the moment. I can see Martinez and Everton fans giving Jelavic another chance next season.
He proved in his time at Rangers and early in his Everton career that he can score goals. With the right service, Nikica Jelavic could again be a top quality goal scorer. It would not benefit Everton to sell Jelavic at this time and I do believe that Jelavic will come good in the new campaign.
Should Everton sell Nikica Jelavic this summer?