Roberto Martinez has spoken of the need to have 27 or 28 first-team players to challenge on four fronts next season. Who from the current retained list can force their way into Roberto’s plans? Are there any youngsters ready to make the step up?

Following on from Part 1 and Part 2 looking at the goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders, here is my analysis of the current forward players at our disposal. Since we are light in this department, I thought it would also be a good opportunity to ask how far this current squad can take us.


Arouna Kon I was delighted when we signed him last year for a relatively small fee. He has bags of pace, is direct and likes taking on defenders. He scored 11 goals in a struggling team playing up front alone. He also had had a good season in La Liga with Levante. Unfortunately he couldn’t have had a worse start to his Everton career. Religious fasting during pre-season meant he was behind the rest of the first-team squad in terms of match preparation (which presumably will happen again this year). Then, just as he was regaining some sharpness, he got injured. Now in his 30s, we may not see the best of Arouna and that fee does not seem so small.
Verdict: Must hope for better fortune this year; has enough quality to be an important squad player.

Steven Naismith If I wrote this last year, I would have said "lots of hard work and endeavour but lacks the required ability at this level." However, as last season progressed, Steven’s importance to the squad and performance levels have grown. Best suited to the number 10 role he has good technique uses the ball well and makes intelligent runs beyond the front man. In my opinion his performance levels and impact will drop if used week in week out, but is suited to making an impact over 2 to 3 games then returning to the bench.
Verdict: Intelligent player who has won over the Goodison faithful; important first team player.

Conor McAleny Conor will be 22 when the season starts and it seems a long time ago that he burst onto the scene with impressive cameo appearances against Arsenal and Norwich. He has bags of pace and can also be deployed in wide areas. Injuries have plagued his fledgling career but an impressive end to the season for the U21s have led to calls for his first-team involvement.
Verdict: Let’s hope he can remain injury free as I am sure greater involvement with the first team beckons.

Chris Long Highly rated at the academy, he has played regularly for the U21s as well as for various England age groups. Comparisons have been made with Michael Owen in style. Only four league appearances in a brief loan spell earlier this year probably suggest it is too early to be thinking about Chris in terms of the first team.
Verdict: Needs more league experience; hopefully he can be loaned out to a Championship side to continue his development.

Hallum Hope He was touted as a real prospect a couple of years ago, scoring for fun in the younger England age groups. Unfortunately his progress has stalled not featuring regularly for the U21s. His reputation was repaired somewhat with a successful loan spell, albeit at League Two level.
Verdict: Needs to make some rapid progress to have any sort of Goodison future.

So we are desperately short in this department; two new recruits are needed at least to allow the youngsters we have to go out for experience of first team football.

We know all about Lukaku my opinion is: if he is available and wants to come, then go and get him. Opportunities like this don’t come around too often. I would sooner spenD most of our budget on Romelu and rely on loans and free agents to boost squad numbers.

Lacina Traore is likely to return on loan assuming the incoming Monaco manger does put a block on it. Not enough seen of him to form an opinion on him really. He looked very rusty in the cup tie against Swansea. Roberto likes him though, so hopefully he will have an impact.

Other strikers mentioned have been Wilfried Bony, Batshuayi and Danny Welbeck. I like Bony, excellent in the air strong, direct and a good finisher. He has got stronger as the season progressed. Batshuayi I know nothing of except that, if he is Belgian, sign him up! I think Danny Welbeck is pure fantasy he is not suited to a lone front man role, I think this is just paper talk.

So to conclude I would like to talk about acceptable progress. Roberto has had a season to get his ideas across can we expect more giant leaps forward? Look at what happened in Bredan Rodgers’s second season. While this is of course the dream scenario, I think it would be extremely unlikely to achieve this, even by Roberto’s standards.

I think it is imperative we get Barry and Lukaku in or adequate replacements or we would be in danger of taking a backward step in terms of strength and quality of the squad. If we do this we can expect to finish somewhere in the top seven.

The season just gone has been an unusual one in the number of manger changes at the top clubs. This made the race for champions league more interesting but I suspect next season may see more of return to the status quo. I certainly don’t expect Man Utd to perform as badly and Tottenham’s manager appointment sees them recruit someone who shares many of the same traits of Roberto. If they can continue to get the best out of Adebayor they should improve.

I think it is going to be hard to achieve a points haul of 70+ and challenge in a cup competition. I also can see some merit in accelerating the progress of a few of the academy youngsters. This may cost us a few points next season but may have significant benefits in the long term. I personally would be happy with top 6 and success in a cup.

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Reader Comments (73)

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Danny Broderick
1 Posted 31/05/2014 at 06:41:15
We'll be buying a 20 million striker this summer. If it's Lukaku, he knows us and can hit the ground running. If it's someone else, they may need time to settle in. Lukaku's the man for me.
Ian Glassey
2 Posted 31/05/2014 at 08:10:50
It's Lukaku for me. I know he was crap a lot of the time, but looking around, age- and ability-wise, is there anyone better out there?
Kieran Fitzgerald
3 Posted 31/05/2014 at 08:26:13
Are the youngsters coming through good enough to allow us to spend most of our transfer budget on one player? That is the main question for me. To spend 20m plus on a striker possibly means not signing anyone else. This means relying on a small number of senior players to manage until Ledson, Lundstram, McAleny, Duffy et all are fully bedded in. This may not happen until January, if at all.

I think this is the question that Martinez and his backroom team are asking themselves as well. Does Martinez spend all his cash on one player, or does he sign a couple on permanent contracts and then two or three quality loan signings? Remember, loan signings and even free agents will come with loan fees and signing fees, so that is a chunk of our transfer budget gone.

For me, for all the enjoyment I get out of seeing us bring young players through, I think this season will be a little early for the ones we need to come through, eg, Ledson, Green, McAleny and Grant. They will get game time, and they will progress, but it will be a year before they can be considered fully fledged senior players.

We have more than enough cover in defence so, while nice if it happens, we do not need Duffy and Garbutt to be ready as senior players. It is in midfield and upfront where we need to strengthen.

For me, on the balance of it, I do not think we can afford to spend big on just one player. We showed last season that there are goals in this team. The addition of two or three players in midfield and upfront may contribute goals as much as a 20m striker, but will also contribute a lot more. This means that I would vote for signing two or three players over just one.

Tony Draper
4 Posted 31/05/2014 at 09:53:26
Regarding Kon:

a) His injury was so severe that RM has referred to it as potentially career-threatening. Let's hope that his recovery is as good as it can be.

b) Ramadan is earlier this year than it was last year, but will still likely affect Arouna's buildup to the forthcoming season.

I'll be delighted to see him return and effectively make his debut season, surely as good as a new signing?

Naismith, well done Stevie for listening to RM and focussing solely upon your own natural game in your proper position. I'd foresee more time on the pitch overall next season throughout all four competitions.

Lukaku, I just don't get the nitpicking criticism. He's a quality young striker with bags more potential; money spent on him will be wisely invested and, as he continues to flourish, his value will only multiply. I'd be certain that, if Everton are able to slap the dosh on the table, he'd happily become a permanent Blue. He is also a "big game" player and loves those vital ties. For me, he really is a "must have".

Traore, his sheer size inevitably tricks the mind into "Long-Ball Hitman", and yet RM's style clearly speaks to the contrary, so why would RM want a beanpole target man?

Roberto has already gone on record saying that he would like for Traore to return on loan for next season. I can only agree, 'cos I really want to see what this guy has to offer.

The Youngsters:

McAleny, 2 years older than Lukaku. Odd that Lukaku attracts criticism and yet McAleny does not... Injuries notwithstanding, it would be just great for him to make the breakthrough and this season would be just superb timing.

As for the rest, I can see RM blooding them here and there. The real giveaway will be the preseason, after all RM utilised Stones preseason last year and when circumstances dictated JS (for the main part) came through with top grades.

Additions up front? Sign Lukaku. Loan Traore. Plus another.

Barry Stevens
5 Posted 31/05/2014 at 12:22:44
How about Bentner from Arsenal on a free? Granted not as good as he thinks he is, but not as bad as most people think he is.

If the plan is to bed the youngsters in over the next season, why not bring in Lampard, Ferdinand, and Joe Cole on 1- or 2-year deals? That's 4 in on freebies which will leave our 20 million war chest for a couple of players. Add a couple of loans there's your 8 players.

Douglas McClenaghan
6 Posted 31/05/2014 at 12:48:02
Spot on, Kieran. Spending all that money on one player means that you can be one serious injury away from disaster.
Karl Graham
7 Posted 31/05/2014 at 13:16:56
In an ideal world I'd like Lukaku as our main striker and someone like Jordan Rhodes as the other striker! McAleny appears to be more suited as a number 10 or wide player! Hope and Long would probably benefit from a loan spells for a championship side.
Tony Draper
8 Posted 31/05/2014 at 13:30:46
Barry @5 I completely agree regarding Lampard and think (as Ive stated on another thread) that he would make a superb addition to our squad for a couple of seasons.
Steavey Buckley
9 Posted 31/05/2014 at 14:03:08
The problem for Everton FC is annual, a lack of a real goalscorer. The last time Everton produced a homegrown goalscorer was nearly 50 years ago with Joe Royle. Tony Cottee was the last bought successful striker, but that was nearly 25 years ago.
Peter Bell
10 Posted 31/05/2014 at 14:21:06
Steavey, we produced a home grown goalscorer 10 years ago... then sold him to Man Utd.
Steavey Buckley
11 Posted 31/05/2014 at 14:27:40
1 goal in 4 matches does not actually qualify Wayne Rooney being a goalscorer like Joe Royle, who was around for quite a while knocking them in for Everton:

Wayne Rooney: 20022004 Everton 67 15

Joe Royle: (1966-1974) 232 102

Mark Frere
12 Posted 31/05/2014 at 14:51:31
Deary me, Barry Stevens, a bunch of has-beens who will cost a fortune in wages and Nicklas Bendtner.....and yes, Bendtner is as bad as people think.

Personally, the only geriatric player I want to see back here is G Barry. Ferdinand would be a very strange choice as we already have three centre-backs the wrong side of 30.

Barry Stevens
13 Posted 31/05/2014 at 15:12:46
Mark, could you not see the benefit of Rio working with John Stones or likewise Lampard with Barkley, McCarthy and Ledson?

And as for Bentner I feel he could do a job for us. No hes not going to rip up the Premier League, hence why he is on a free. He can play up top on his own, offer a psychical presence and would scoresome goals.

In an ideal world, I wouldnt mention any of them names, but realistically I think our kitty wont be more than 20 million. How is that going to spread to 8 players?

Jay Harris
14 Posted 31/05/2014 at 15:41:02
Unlike Kieran, I would go for quality rather than quantity.

Lukaku showed us the difference a matchwinner would make and I would put the majority of our transfer fund on a top goalscorer.

I would be happy with Bony or Lukaku and am surprised we didn't have a sniff at Lambert. I don't really want Welbeck but would consider Soldado if he was available.

I don't know enough about the foreign markets to talk about other possibilities but did watch Bacca recently and he was woefully worse than Big Vic at his best.

As regards defensive mid, Barry showed what a good fit he would be for us and he is worth a punt for a couple of years. Other than that, I do not see Gibbo filling that role so I would go for Diame or even Manny Fernandes if available.

Mark Frere
15 Posted 31/05/2014 at 18:45:13
Barry, I'm sure Distin and Jags can teach Stones everything he needs to know about good defending. My point is, these senior pro's wont come with cheap wages and their best days are behind them. I want Martinez to build a squad for the future...and I don't think signing an whole host of old players is the way to.

Barry was excellent playing alongside McCarthy last season and I would make an exception for him.

We should be looking to sign players like Colback if we're talking free transfers. Colback is 23 years old, with all his best years in front of him... and one of Sunderland's few consistent performers.

We can't solely depend on talent coming out of our academy; realistically, we might get the odd player now and again that is good enough... and if the player is good enough I'm confident that Martinez will give that player every opportunity to develop into a first-team player, a la Barkley and Stones.

As for Bendtner, he was dreadful on loan at Sunderland and has failed to make any kind of impact at Arsenal.

My guess is Martinez will sign 3-4 players which come with a transfer fee, a couple of free transfers and a couple of loans... there's your 8 players.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 31/05/2014 at 19:12:50
Bendtner aka king slayer? No thanks. Apparently he can pick a fight in an empty room. Plus, he doesn't seem to like taxi drivers. As for the Chelsea pensioners mentioned pass!!
Colin Glassar
17 Posted 31/05/2014 at 19:24:49
Remy has agreed terms with Arsenal by all accounts.
Patrick Murphy
18 Posted 31/05/2014 at 19:32:20
Colin, if Fabregas and Remy join Arsenal, do you think we will make a play for Arteta?
Colin Glassar
19 Posted 31/05/2014 at 19:43:06
I hope not Patrick, he's well past his best.
David Hallwood
20 Posted 31/05/2014 at 20:28:32
I wouldn't mind Danny Welbeck, he had an awful season at Old Trafford but is a quality player.
Kieran Fitzgerald
21 Posted 31/05/2014 at 21:11:48
Jay Harris, 20m would buy two decent players plus a couple of loanees of the ilk of Barry. I didn't advocate just signing the first ten players who turned up at the front door. No need for sarcasm mate.

One player for 20m or two to three decent players who could make more of a difference than one. That is what I meant.

Danny Broderick
22 Posted 31/05/2014 at 21:27:15

We need players who are going to help us break into the top 4. The likes of Bendtner do not cut the mustard, I'm afraid. He would only offer back up, and we have plenty of back up next year in the form of Kon, Naismith & Traor. We need a big hitter.

If we could sign 2 players, I'd hope for Lukaku (20M) & Welbeck (10M). Martinez would turn Welbeck into a star. He'd let him play in his true position and give him a bit of belief. He's always being shunted onto the left wing, yet he scored 6 goals in the 6 games he played up front last year for Man Utd.

Lukaku's a no-brainer. He knows the club, he's 21, he's already scored 65 top flight goals, and he has the potential to be a world beater. If he can find some consistency, he'll score 30 goals in the Prem in the next few years...

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 31/05/2014 at 22:56:34
That would be amazing Danny to have both Lukaku AND Welbeck.

One from left field would be a certain Mario Balotelli. He seems determined to leave Milan and the Italians are asking 30m for him which I'm sure we could whittle down to 20m. Lukaku would still be my first choice though.

Rob Halligan
24 Posted 31/05/2014 at 23:25:04
Sooner or later, this board have got to stump up the cash for new players. This summer is probably that time, what with the huge amount of prize money paid out and more than likely will hopefully be paid for the next few years.

Go on Bill, be a devil and splash the cash!! You never know, it might lead to greater things!! I would personally like Lukaku back and I also heard that Bony is high up on RM's shopping list

Dick Fearon
25 Posted 31/05/2014 at 23:21:21
Lukaku has joined Porto so that takes him out of the frame. Hopefully Roberto will equal Moyes's brilliance in finding diamonds among the dross.

I would be pleased not to lose any more of last year's first-team squad and perhaps add a midfielder good enough to replace Osman plus a 20 goal striker.

Mark Frere
26 Posted 31/05/2014 at 23:53:19
Lukaku has joined Porto, Dick? where you getting that story from?
Kieran Riding
27 Posted 31/05/2014 at 23:58:45
Porto? Lol.
Rob Halligan
28 Posted 31/05/2014 at 23:59:10
I have looked on loads of different sites, including Chelsea's and Porto's websites, Dick, and I cannot see any reference to Lukaku joining Porto.

Where have you seen this?

James Stewart
29 Posted 01/06/2014 at 00:18:43
Bendtner? Christ, no thanks! I would rather play without a forward than him!

There are plenty of options available up top, some even better than Lukaku; we don't need to stoop that low.

Mike Childs
31 Posted 01/06/2014 at 10:49:58
I just went to search Lukaku on the web and found nothing about Porto. It doesn't make any sense either as both he and Chelsea must be hoping for big things at the World Cup to increase his value.

Belgium is a dark horse and if they did stun the world and win it with him as their leading goal scorer it would probably add an extra 10 million to his fee and take us out of the running.

Bill Griffiths
32 Posted 01/06/2014 at 12:02:32
Sure I saw something on text the other day saying Chelsea were interested in a Porto player and had offered cash + Lukaku but can't remember more details. Probably just paper talk.
Chad Schofield
33 Posted 01/06/2014 at 11:59:17
Great stuff Carl, really enjoyed all three parts and although I don't know too much about some of the younger players you've mentioned, there's nothing I disagreed with regarding those more senior.

I also hope we pull out the stops for Lukaku and that he's only deployed on the wing very occasionally (master stroke against Arsenal... came across like a Steve McLaren trick after that).

Eric Myles
34 Posted 01/06/2014 at 12:18:54
Bill #32, not sure it was a Porto player, I thought it was Beneathus' team?
Eric Myles
35 Posted 01/06/2014 at 12:27:24
It was Roma.
Frank Crewe
36 Posted 01/06/2014 at 12:30:03
Kone wants dumping. If he wants to starve himself then he can do it on his own time. He is a professional footballer who's paid a lot of money and he is expected to be fit to play unless injured in the line of duty and not because he was fasting.

My betting is that after being out for so long he will have lost a yard of pace and will just be a big lump up front. Six million quid down the pan.

Lukaku is almost certainly a no go so we need another striker.

Mark Pierpoint
37 Posted 01/06/2014 at 12:37:47
In fairness Frank he is only 'fasting' in daylight hours. It is going to come at the start of pre-season, which is not the end of the world as the World Cup players will only just be coming back also. The club has to work around religious observance like any work place. He is a Muslim like hundreds of millions of others, it is not like it is just a few cranks who decide one day to fast.
Eric Myles
38 Posted 01/06/2014 at 12:43:33
Mark #37, what I don't understand though is why we never heard of problems with the hundreds of other muslim players in the league before him? Including several of our own.
Mark Pierpoint
39 Posted 01/06/2014 at 13:12:00
Is it a problem Eric? I think it is just people looking for a convenient excuse. How does Kone's knee injury have anything to do with Ramadan?
Eric Myles
40 Posted 01/06/2014 at 13:41:21
No Mark, I don't think being a muslim footballer is a problem, or ever has been, but I think Kone was using it as a convenient excuse.
Paul Andrews
41 Posted 01/06/2014 at 13:51:29
A convenient excuse for what Eric?
Eric Myles
42 Posted 01/06/2014 at 14:07:21
For not performing in pre-season because he was tired from 'fasting' and being unfit at the start of the season.
Paul Andrews
43 Posted 01/06/2014 at 14:19:01

It is the man's religion we are talking about here. Fasting is bound to affect any sportsman bearing in mind the amount of calories burnt during training etc. Hardly an excuse.

Peter Jones
44 Posted 01/06/2014 at 14:34:57
Fellaini is a muslim. He was always fit and never made excuses. Kone is unprofessional and a liability. If he ever gets himself fit he will probably naff off to Africa mid season and return knackered. Get rid.
Malcolm Joyner
45 Posted 01/06/2014 at 10:28:57
In reading these threads about our prospects for next season, two recurring comments amuse/annoy me. First the assumption that, because a nearby team made massive strides in their manager's second season, it will automatically happen here. Totally unrelated to Roberto's situation.

Second, the acceptance that Kone's religious fasting provides an excuse for him being crap. Plenty of Muslim athletes cope with this ritual without impact on their performance .

Paul Andrews
46 Posted 01/06/2014 at 14:47:03

Can you explain how Kone is unprofessional please?

Eric Myles
47 Posted 01/06/2014 at 14:54:51
Paul, because he's a sportsman he gets dispensations according to his religion.

As I said before, there's been hundreds of other muslim players in the leagues but the first time I heard fasting used as an excure was with Kone.

Eric Myles
48 Posted 01/06/2014 at 14:59:02
Also Paul, in this case fasting is not doing without something totally, it just means eating the same at a different time of the day so he's not burning off calories that he's not replacing.
Peter Jones
49 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:12:40
Kone is unprofessional by not maximising his fitness, a basic requirement for any professional sportsman and an obligation to his employer.
Paul Andrews
50 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:12:57

A tad condescending there.
I know how fasting works for Muslims at Ramadan.

It will affect different people in different ways.
As for "eating the same amount at a different time" that is incorrect. Food is not eaten until sunset, which is after 9pm in July. Highly unlikely that the usual 3 meals would be eaten in a couple of hours.

Paul Andrews
51 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:16:25
Thanks Peter,

In your opinion how has he not maximised his fitness?

Eric Myles
52 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:29:01
Paul, lots of people don't know how Ramadan works, some think it's like Lent, so it wasn't meant to be condescending, just an explanation of what happens. And as I said, they have dispensations. Do you think that muslims in Finland fast for 24 hours a day for 28 days because the sun doesn't set during Ramadan there?
Tony Draper
53 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:30:06
Kone had a very serious injury which would have kept Samson, Hercules or Conan the Barbarian top of the physios "To Do" list last season.

And as to the mans religious beliefs, well frankly thats his right to choose and observe as devoutly or relaxedly as his conscience and following befits.

Paul Andrews
54 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:39:33
Thanks Eric apology accepted.

We are discussing Kone, Eric, not residents of Finland.

You accuse Kone of using fasting as an excuse, then say he had dispensation to eat during Ramadan. It doesn't work both ways if I may point out.

Colin Glassar
55 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:42:52
Good point Eric. I'm sure it's 6am-6pm (12 hours) and has nothing to do with the sun. And can't he get special permission from his imman? Like others have said, other Muslim athletes don't use fasting as an excuse for being unfit e.g. Mo Farrah, Droghba, Ribery etc....
Paul Andrews
56 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:53:28

It's sunrise to sunset.

Eric Myles
57 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:45:13
"As for "eating the same amount at a different time" that is incorrect. Food is not eaten until sunset, which is after 9pm in July."

No, Paul, we are discussing how Ramadan works for muslim footballers, of which Kone is one, as are muslim footballers in Finland. How do muslims (even non-footballers) in Finland cope if they can only eat after sunset? Surely there is something in the rules that allows for odd timings of sunset? Or in the case of the "land of the midnight sun," no sunset?

It's not me that wants it both ways, Paul. Kone has dispensation according to his religion to eat during Ramadan in circumstances where there are extended daylight hours, that he (possibly) doesn't use it and then uses fasting as an excuse for lack of performance is not because of me.

Eric Myles
58 Posted 01/06/2014 at 15:57:21
Colin #55, yes you're right, it's sunrise to sunset in Mecca which is approximately 12 hours, sometimes 11 in their winter. So anywhere in the world you can fast for 12 hours from sunrise local time. And that applies to countries that have 20 hours of daylight the same as those that have only 6 hours of daylight.

And to throw the thread really off topic, has anyone ever seen one of these muslim footballers stop for prayers during a match?

Paul Andrews
59 Posted 01/06/2014 at 16:04:49

You re-posted my point "as for eating the same amount at a different time" .....and didn't give your answer?

Our chat started with my response to you saying Kone used fasting as an excuse in post 40. So we were debating Kone specifically.

I can't find a link to Kone using fasting as an excuse. I am not doubting your word that one exists, I am sure it does. I would be grateful you could post it please so I can get Kone's thoughts on the matter.

Phil Sammon
60 Posted 01/06/2014 at 16:45:42
I forget which sportsman said it, but I read a while ago that allowances can be made on match day, for example. So a normal pre-match meal can be eaten and the player can 'make up for it' in the following days.

What baffles me is how any Muslim can justify any 'mitigating circumstances' when it comes to observing Ramadan. Either you are a Muslim and truly believe the fasting is vital, or you're not. Allah doesn't come across as the most forgiving fella and I don't recall him stressing his leniency towards Premier League footballers.

I hope Kone comes good anyway. Martinez seems to rate him very highly which gives me confidence.

Colin Glassar
61 Posted 01/06/2014 at 17:18:59
Thanks Eric, I'm sure a Muslim friend told me, years ago, that it was a 12-hour fast. I suppose that means, if you live in the northern hemisphere, allowances are made for the long summer days.
Michael Winstanley
62 Posted 01/06/2014 at 17:29:31
Allah is very forgiving Phil. It's people that ain't.
Jay Harris
63 Posted 01/06/2014 at 18:19:30
Kieran Fitzgerald #21
Sorry if you thought I was being sarcastic - I wasnt - I was just emphasising my opinion that having lost Lukaku, Barry and Delefeu my preference would be spending whatever funds we have on quality rather than quantity and if that involves spending the majority on a top class goalscorer then that is what I would do.

IMO Lukaku proved what the top teams (except Arsenal) have practiced for years in identifying the difference a top goalscorer brings to winning a game as opposed to playing well and not winning.

City - Aguerro, Dzeko, Negredo, Silva

RS - Suarez, Sturridge

Chelsea - Ba, Torres, Eto.

EFC - Kone, Naismith !!!

Adam Weight
64 Posted 01/06/2014 at 17:06:44
Let's be honest here, Kone is a waste of money and he's not going to get any better after his injury. One of RM's few mistakes.

If he's fasting then good luck to him, but it can't affect your job performance or expect to be criticised.

Religion is fine if that's your bag but don't expect others to psy for it.

Eric Myles
65 Posted 02/06/2014 at 02:59:03
Paul, the answer is, it's not incorrect as the rest of my post explains why he doesn't miss his calory intake for the day.

Yes we're discussing Kone and how his muslim beliefs 'interfere' with his performances, and as my posts again explain, they shouldn't as he has dispensations.

What next, Christians refusing to play on Sundays? Jews refusing to play on Saturday?

Paul Andrews
66 Posted 02/06/2014 at 07:11:02
Where did you see Kone use fasting as an excuse, Eric?
Michael Penley
68 Posted 02/06/2014 at 08:07:13
There should be no problem whatsoever with Kone's fasting if a good dietitian is in charge of his diet. For a start, he should be off carbs and sugar full stop. If he lives on fats and proteins his metabolism will be in a state of ketosis, meaning a constant supply of energy. If he eats bread at night but nothing during the day, then he will be starved for energy when the supply of carbs runs out.
Malcolm Joyner
69 Posted 02/06/2014 at 08:20:58
Was it not Roberto who first attributed Kone's sluggishness in US pre-season to Ramadan fasting?

Surely, these days, the game is awash with Muslims who seem to overcome this dietary inconvenience. After a year of inactivity, it is time for the Ivorian to deliver and, as yet, it looks like he will have little competition for a place in the side.

Sam Hoare
70 Posted 02/06/2014 at 08:28:47
If Lukaku continues to score goals this Summer for Belgium as he has done recently he will very soon be out of our reach. He probably is already. He's on record as saying that he wants to go to a CL team and if he does leave Chelsea then I suspect it will be to Roma, Athletic Madrid or Dortmund. In fact I reckon we have about a 5% chance maximum of signing him permanently. Our best shot would be if Chelsea loaned him again.

Hope Martinez has lined up some good alternative targets.

Kieran Fitzgerald
71 Posted 02/06/2014 at 09:54:52
Jay, take no notice of me, I had my grumpy head on as it's a bank holiday weekend here in Ireland and I've had to work all weekend. You can growl at me whenever you see me posting again on a different thread!

Lukaku has scored in both of Belgium's friendlies this week. I think if he does anything at all in the World Cup he will be snapped up. I think that Martinez is clever enough to recognise this and may well already have other options lined up.

Jay Harris
72 Posted 02/06/2014 at 17:16:49
Let's hope so Kieran.

We seem to have gone back into the let's leave it late mode of a couple of seasons ago.

We have lost 3 key players and do not seem to be closing in on anyone while the RS have already signed Lambert and are close to signing Lallana and Moreno.

I do not see the problem in signing a player now with the contract to start in July if wage savings are an issue.

Tony Draper
73 Posted 02/06/2014 at 19:46:40
I note that Frank Lampard has ended his 13-year association with Chelsea.

He would be ideal at Goodison Park for a couple of years, he would bring more than he would cost, contribute more in many ways.

He could be an ace mentor for Barks for a couple of years.

Tap him up in Miami Ross !

Andy Osborne
74 Posted 03/06/2014 at 10:27:16
I don't think that Frank Lampard will be a particularly good signing for the blues, as he doesn't have much more time left in him.

I know that giving up on Lukaku is the wrong thing to do, but with the chances of a successful World Cup he is likely to be out of our reach soon. Our other main option is Wilfried Bony, but we aren't the only club to be looking at signing him, Arsenal are only one of the others.

Anyway, whatever happens, it's going to be a very interesting summer!!

Steavey Buckley
75 Posted 03/06/2014 at 13:25:50
Transfer news: Roberto Martinez admits Everton have identified the players they want. Last Updated: 03/06/14 12:57pm -SkyFootball.

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