Why Islam Slimani Would Be A Sensible Buy For Everton In January Window?
After a summer of flamboyant spending, one functional piece of the jigsaw remains missing for Everton: a striker who can put the ball into the net regularly. The creativity of Gylfi Sigurdsson, the return of Wayne Rooney, the guile from Davy Klaassen and excitement of Sandro Ramirez; all were celebrated by the Evertonians, as they all boosted the club’s attacking options.
But nothing has gone according to the plans as Everton find themselves in a mess, despite sacking manager Ronald Koeman and replacing him with caretaker manager David Unsworth. In fact, the club has made a total mess of their attempts to replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer.
With the January transfer window fast approaching, the Merseysiders cannot afford to waste another chance to get a proven goal-scorer. And according to reports, Everton are battling both Newcastle United and West Ham United for the services of out of sorts Leicester City striker Islam Slimani, who is rated at £22.5m.
Less than a year-and-a-half since Islam Slimani became Leicester City’s club-record signing, the striker already appears to be thinking of an exit route from the King Power Stadium. The Algerian never quite managed to tie down a place in the starting XI under either Claudio Ranieri or Craig Shakespeare. And now under new manager Claude Puel, he has further fallen down the pecking order.
The 29-year-old scored 8 goals last season and is yet to score in the Premier League in 6 appearances so far. Most of his game-time has come in the EFL Cup, where he scored a brace to dump Liverpool out of the competition. The former Sporting CP striker is facing an uncertain future at the club, and a move away from Leicester looks to be on the cards. With Simani frustrated at Leicester, will he be a good fit at Everton?
Everton are looking to bolster their attacking department in the winter, and signing a striker is a top priority for them. So Slimani’s signing in January makes sense for the Toffees.
The Algeria international never appeared to fit into the Foxes’ fast-paced counter-attacking style. Instead, being a traditional target-man, he would perfectly suit Everton’s style of play as the club is crying out for a striker who can bang goals left, right and centre.
Renowned for his fantastic aerial ability, the Algerian, who has scored 27 times for his nation, should thrive at Everton. With 61 goals in three seasons in Portugal, Slimani is a goalscorer, provided he receives service. With the likes of Sigurdsson, Klaassen and Rooney in the midfield, he would surely receive that. The striker would become even more potent from Sigurdsson’s wicked deliveries and there seems to be a logic in bringing him to Goodison Park.
Given his relative struggles at Leicester, there would be doubts in the minds of the Everton fans but they should buy solace knowing that his form during his time at Sporting CP was fantastic.
Slimani is a target man, a physical presence, ideally a more experienced player rather than a punt on potential. Could Everton finally get their man in January after previous attempts? Only time will tell.