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Traoré set for second loan spell with Everton

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Lacina Traoré looks set to stay with Everton after Monaco agreed to another loan move for the Ivorian.

It is common knowledge that Roberto Martinez has been set on giving Traoré, who was apparently spotted at Lime Street station yesterday, the chance to prove himself with the Blues after his first loan spell was wrecked by hamstring injuries.

It now appears as though both parties will get the chance to see how he adapts to the Premier League with the arrangement of a second loan transfer.

The 6' 8" striker joined Everton in January but played just 62 minutes of football, scoring in his only start in the FA Cup against Swansea City.

Reader Comments

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Karl Masters
511 Posted 23/06/2014 at 06:05:51
No surprise there. Will be interesting to see how he plays once fully fit.

Obviously knows where the goal is. His one brief appearance last season was when he hadn't played for about six weeks due to a niggling injury so can't really judge him on that.

It's just like a new signing!

Simon Smith
513 Posted 23/06/2014 at 07:18:18
I've been saying for weeks that he was hoping to stay longer after a friend of a friend bumped into him in London after one of the May bank holidays.

I hope he gets a fair crack at the whip this time and his height up front will cause a few problems amongst defenders if we ever get a good corner put into the box!

Jim Bennings
516 Posted 23/06/2014 at 08:10:53
Not exactly the first signing most of us were hoping for or expecting. He will get a fair crack of the whip from me but he is going to need to work hard to prove a lot of fans wrong.

Yes, he had horrendous fortune with injuries, partly down to our own fault when we pursued signing him in January knowing he was weeks away from being fit.

I just think the jury will remain out until we see he is actually mobile, can move and contribute and acclimatize to the speed and blood and thunder of English football; as sometimes as is the case with African players new to the league, they come across as a bit lazy and too individual.

I am willing to give him every chance but he needs to start the season fit and ready... otherwise, and understandably so, the fan's will be thinking with their sceptical hats on again.

Kieran Fitzgerald
518 Posted 23/06/2014 at 08:27:33
I think that we may as well start afresh with him. The club must see enough in him to give him one of the loan player slots.

It is frustrating that we have not made any signings up to now. In an ideal situation, with next week being the start of July and with pre-season coming up, we would have had new players in place.

Jim Bennings
522 Posted 23/06/2014 at 08:51:39
We still need another 5 or 6 players so we are going to need to start getting our finger out before too long. Pre-season starts in late July and so do the friendlies.

Last year we got the majority of our successful signings on Deadline Day and they were all a big success but that was partly down to the players we brought in having already been accustomed to English football; by bring in Barry, McCarthy and Lukaku, we knew there would be no real bedding in period.

If we do leave it late again this year then it's a big risk unless we sign players from the Premier League, we aren't in a position where we can wait half a season for imports to get used to it.

I loved what I saw from the glimpses of Gerard Deulofeu but even come the end of the season you still felt you were waiting for him to get going fully in the Premier League.

Derek Knox
523 Posted 23/06/2014 at 08:57:26
I had a feeling this was going to happen, I remember it being mentioned that due to his injury-plagued first spell they were trying to extend it further. Roberto must see something in him to bring this about. You can't dispute his goals-to-minutes-played ratio!

I see we are being linked again with Chelsea flop Victor Moses too, who, I needn't remind anyone, has spent last season with our friends at Anfield.

Romelu is receiving some bad press about his poor performances in the World Cup, and they are hinting that he will probably be dropped in favour of the even younger lad Origi for the next game. I hope this brings Rom's price down and pushes him closer to joining us on a permanent basis!

Ray Roche
524 Posted 23/06/2014 at 09:33:31
Derek, regarding Lukaku, it seems that his actual talent falls short of how he sees it himself. He's been anonymous in the World Cup so far and certainly nothing like a £10M player, let alone a £30M one which is the valuation some people have put on him.

Champions League? He's havin' a laff....

Shane Corcoran
526 Posted 23/06/2014 at 09:41:36
I'd have thought this was the most obvious transfer in for us of the summer. There had to be some reason we held on to him after he got injured.

I'd like to think that by the end of the first week in July we'd have both Traore and Barry on board although you have to wonder what it is that holds these deals up.

Is pre-season late this year?

Duncan McDine
530 Posted 23/06/2014 at 10:27:09
Not the signing that we all hoped for maybe, but certainly an obvious one. Apparently he has a good touch for a big man.
Denis Richardson
534 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:02:13
Good news overall, means that we already have two senior strikers for the season. Hopefully Kone and Traore can each bag at least 10 goals over the season.

Now we just need to sign our main striker for the coming campaign.....

Andrew Hawes
535 Posted 23/06/2014 at 10:52:37
I would like to see a few signings shortly. Lakaku is rather willing to sign or he's not – I don't see what waiting until after the World Cup achieves??

It is slightly annoying that he is treating our club as a last resort if nothing better comes up. Unfortunately we have to persist with him as he is the only striker we have had in years that looks remotely like hitting 15-20 goals a season.

I have said this in a few pre-seasons now: What this club needs is a statement of intent!! A signing to fire our imagination – not a loan – one for the future or a player looking for a second chance but a genuine talisman / playmaker.

Comes a time when the talk of becoming a Champions League club has to be backed by actions! It's now or never for this side: Distin, Howard, Jagielka, Pienaar, Osman, etc – the so-called experience in the side – won't be the same force in a year's time and we will be in rebuilding mode.
Don't worry about the numbers, even if we have to sacrifice a cup competition, let's just get in the quality!!

Christopher Timmins
537 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:11:58
With the kind of start we have to the season, we can't be waiting until the 31 August to sort out 3 or 4 new signings.

Lukaku is worth a punt at £10m to 12m but the £30m quoted at present is just a joke.

We need to nail down Barry, a left sided midfielder and a 15- to 20-goals-a-season striker.

Jim Knightley
539 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:25:21
Yeah Christopher, a player who scored 32 goals in the last two seasons, and only turned 21 last month, is only worth £10 to 12 million. Why don't we just spend £25 million and bring in Messi?

And why will we wait till 31 August to bring in players? Of the big clubs, only Chelski have made moves yet. World Cup years are always slower to get going.

Phil Sammon
540 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:29:07
I see Gomis is heading to Swansea for talks. That could open the door for Bony to move. The guy looks a really good player... but I do worry that he's not the type to chase down defenders.
Duncan McDine
543 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:41:14
Worth a punt at £10m!!!
Andrew Ellams
544 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:44:33
Problem with Gomis seems to be his outrageous wage demands. Didn’t this already scupper his move to Newcastle?
Ray Roche
547 Posted 23/06/2014 at 12:08:45
Jim, Christopher is right, Lukaku MAY have bagged 32 goals but he's nowhere near the finished article and the World Cup has shown his shortcomings to everyone. How many players look like the real deal at 19-21 and then stagnate?
Dan McKie
549 Posted 23/06/2014 at 11:29:05
If the rumours are true, and we get him in today, then he will have a full pre-season with the lads and be fully fit, so should be a decent signing. Roberto clearly sees something in this guy even if we haven't had the chance to yet.

Now for the big one eh? I won't be holding my breath though.

Ant Dwyer
550 Posted 23/06/2014 at 12:24:20
I’m glad too see Traore come back to us, he’s on loan so it’s a no-brainer, especially as we don’t seem to own hardly any strikers of our own!!

As for Romelu, I feel he’s being cut down far too early by the fans on this site, he’s a top quality striker who will go on to become even better. Granted, his first touch isn’t always great but he knows where the net is and he’s 20 years of age.

I don’t feel he is worth the reported £32m but I’d bite Chelsea’s hand off for a £20m deal. Lukaku will go on to big things and we will have a big profit in the bank if we were to pay £20m.

Tom Bowers
552 Posted 23/06/2014 at 12:45:33
I think we have to forget Lukaku as he has his pick of Champions League clubs. Traore and Kone seem to be the go-to guys though maybe not starting together and Mirallas as the other front runner. However, RM may acquire other options before the season starts and the media will associate him with all kinds of players before then.

Whilst Traore and Kone do not exactly fit the bill as world-beaters we know already that RM has the ability to mould them into the Everton shape providing they can keep clear of injury.

Gerry Quinn
556 Posted 23/06/2014 at 13:28:23
Is Traore the one that starved himself last pre-season? If so, this year "that phase" will be from 28 June to 27 July – so by 16 August (season KO) he should have caught up and eaten lots of burgers and chips to strengthen himself up.
Gerry Quinn
557 Posted 23/06/2014 at 13:35:59
Or was that Kone?
Steve Brown
558 Posted 23/06/2014 at 13:19:32
Some interesting perspectives here, Lukaku is apparently overpriced and over-rated, despite scoring 16 goals for us last season. Conversely, Traore and Kone are worth a fair crack of the whip because they are permanently injured and therefore cannot be judged.

Also, apparently Romelu has been anonymous in the World Cup, so let's drop our interest in him and get in Lacina (who has played a grand total of 75 minutes for his country) to partner Kone who last scored in 2007 against the mighty Qatar. Ermn, no thanks.

If we lose out on Lukaku and end up with Traore and Kone as our forwards, then I will be sick.

Chester Barnes
561 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:29:38
As has been said, not the first signing we all expected, but useful nonetheless if he can stay fit. Allows us to mix it up and hopefully should win a fair few headers! Is it an ACON year?

Now as it's silly season, if we're missing out on Michy Batshuayi, and likely priced out of Lukaku. What about Belgium's other young striker? I've never seen him play more than twice but has impressed me nonetheless, Origi? Fully appreciate that's the danger of the World Cup. You score a few and suddenly you're going to be the next big thing.

Chester Barnes
562 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:35:31
It was Kone, for Ramadan. I'm not sure if Traore is Muslim as well. If he is, then he'll also be fasting.
James Stewart
563 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:37:58
Better than Kone so useful signing if he stays fit.
Jim Knightley
564 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:31:00
Ray, that's an incredibly simplistic statement re. the World Cup. Have you watched the matches? Belgium have been awful, and provided no service. Argentina have struggled too... are Aguero and Higuain also over-rated? What about Dzeko too? Diego Costa?

Lukaku has scored 17 and 15 Premier League goals in the last two seasons. And he is worth £10-12 million? The comment is mind-numbing to be honest.

If he was 25, and had scored 17 and 15 in the last two seasons, he would be worth £15-20 million. Even if he never improves, his goal-scoring ability is obvious. But he will improve, because he has just turned 21. Because he cannot have the intelligence of movement at 21, that he will have at 25 or 28. Because his technical ability will improve. How many players stagnate who have scored at his rate in the Premier League before they hit 21? I'd be interested to know.

If we got Lukaku for £20 million, it would be a snip. But I still fancy Atlético to take him, and get a better long-term option than Costa in the process.

Andrew Ellams
565 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:54:23
Origi has scored as many goals in this World Cup as he scored in the whole of last season in the French top division. We need somebody who, if not the finished article, is at least as far along the road as Lukaku
Nick Oakley
568 Posted 23/06/2014 at 14:59:28
What is disappointing for me is that so often Lukaku fails to make the run in front of the first defender when a cross is to be delivered. On several occasions, balls were whipped into the near post and rather than gambling and making his move early, he waits to see where the cross is going.

Not sure whether that's an instinctive thing for strikers, like Lineker, or it's something that they develop... Whatever, Lukaku just doesn't seem to have it at the moment.

Tony Foxwell
570 Posted 23/06/2014 at 15:23:34
If we do sign Traore, this would be a great first signing, great ball control and speed. That will be Traore, Kone and Naismith as our first three strikers.

Lukaku looks shattered at the World Cup after playing nearly a full season of full 90 minutes due to no other forwards. He is still worth £20m all day long as, when he comes back to us with our forwards all fit, he will be able to rest in games and be fresher and stronger for it.

Them four as our forwards — YES PLEASE. COYMT

Ray Roche
572 Posted 23/06/2014 at 15:39:13
Jim, no, it's not incredibly simplistic at all, Lukaku IS nowhere near the finished article and there are no guarantees that he will ever reach the hieghts that would command a £30m fee which is the fee widely reported in the Press. (I know, the Press...) Football history is littered with the "Next Big Thing", the next George Best, etc., young players who flattered to deceive. Rodwell, for instance, who's progress has gone backward, and the likes of Cadamarteri or Branch.

I actually like Lukaku, and hope that he is one who does make it at the top level, and hopefully with us but the amount of money being bandied about is ridiculous.

And, yes, I have seen the games and, yes, Belgium have been nowhere near THEIR best, but you could always argue that a top striker would have, for a start, a better first touch in the few chances that come their way. At the moment, his first touch means that his second touch is a tackle.

Andrew Ellams
574 Posted 23/06/2014 at 15:53:56
Ray, are you actually comparing Lukaku with Cadamateri or Branch? They weren’t really players who stagnated, they just never made it.
Tom Bowers
575 Posted 23/06/2014 at 16:17:19
Lukaku hasn’t shone at the World Cup but neither have Belgium. The support and service to Lukaku has been non-existent.

Belgium have survived by way of the substitutes capitalizing on tired limbs late in the game.

Lukaku is a good player who is still learning, yet better than most in his position, but will probably not be at Everton next season.

Phil Sammon
580 Posted 23/06/2014 at 16:41:25
The difference between Lukaku and Rodwell, Cadamarteri or Jeffers is that Rom has proven he can cut it in the Premier League. He is a very good player already — the fact he is so young and (hopefully) not the finished article just makes him even more appealing.

I hope we get him but, if it's anything like £30M, then we can forget about it.

Ray Roche
588 Posted 23/06/2014 at 17:25:09
Phil, that's my point, at the money being bandied about Lukaku is just not worth it. Incidentally, Rodwell was capped for England when he was 20 so people must have thought he COULD cut it in the Prem. He might still come good but do you think he'll be as good as we all thought he would?
John Pickles
589 Posted 23/06/2014 at 17:22:38
If you play Lukaku, you have to play to his strengths; the Belgium team don't. They can't even get Hazard into the game! If we can get Rom for £20M - £25M (this Board permitting!) we should, then we play to his strengths. A 20-goal-a-season player is the only way forward, they don't come cheap and I can't see Traore or Kone doing it!
Dave Williams
606 Posted 23/06/2014 at 20:09:00
Lukaku is worth a punt at £20m but needs a lot of work and I don't get the feeling that he really wants to come back to us.

The reason for so few deals before July is players contracts and "loyalty" bonuses. Contract years end on 30 June and, if the player is still at the club on (I think) 1 July, they qualify for the bonus which is a percentage of the signing-on fee spread over the term of the contract. If a player moves before 1 July, he will try to negotiate a deal with the selling club to have at least some of the bonus paid.

Agents will get some of this bonus as part of their deal with the player so it is all set up for the real action to take place after the end of June. It may also be linked to the payment date of Sky TV money?

Dave Weston
642 Posted 24/06/2014 at 00:34:28
Lukaku is definitely worth £20 million as prices go for strikers. He has not started too well at the World Cup but nor have Belgium in general, along with a few other well experienced strikers either.

Regarding other signings, don’t forget the transfer window does not officially open until 1 July. Roberto obviously knows what and who he wants as he actually said so but not to us. Would you expect him to name all his targets? I certainly wouldn’t.

Darren Warkcup
654 Posted 24/06/2014 at 08:02:13
Guys, aside from the discussion on Lukaku, I think we are all missing one very large elephant in the room here. January to February 2015 is the ACON so we will likely lose our front two for up to 6 weeks.

I would therefore suggest that this is not the end of new strikers coming to Goodison this year and I suspect they next will also not be African.

I see Michu is off to West Ham in a £6M deal now that would be a squad player and give us an extra dimension up top.

Personally I do think Roberto has something planned and I must say I feel more relaxed that something will happen than when DM was in charge. We are an attacking team now so there must be a plan in place for the strike force, even our board can't cock this up!!!???

Andrew Ellams
657 Posted 24/06/2014 at 08:31:36
Injuries aside, do Traore and Kone get selected often for Ivory Coast? I know Traore has very little in the way of playing time and Kone hasn’t scored in something like 7 years.

In terms of incoming players, M’Bia and Perisic are now out of the World Cup so, if we do have firm interest in those two, now is the time to make our move.

Andy Meighan
661 Posted 24/06/2014 at 09:18:18
Tom 552

Lukaku has his pick of Champions League clubs? Er... who? Enlighten me, please.

Jim Knightley
680 Posted 24/06/2014 at 12:46:29
Ray... you compared Lukaku to Branch and Cadamarteri. That says so much about your argument.

Do you mean Michael Branch? As in the player who scored 3 goals in 41 matches for Everton? And Cadamarteri who got 13 goals for us in 92 matches, and had a career best of 4 goals in a Premier League season.

Lukaku managed 33 goals in Belgium before coming to England. Here, he scored 17 league goals for West Brom despite often starting on the bench, and then 15 for us in 31 games.

And Rodwell is a completely different player. He never reached the heights of Lukaku, and is injury prone in a way that Lukaku clearly is not. All are inane comparisons. Lukaku is not the finished article. But, despite that, has scored 32 goals in two seasons as a 19- and 20-year-old. And he does not take penalties or free kicks generally.

This is not about him improving drastically — he does not need too. Teams cry out for a 20 goal a season striker, and Lukaku is very close to that already. The critiques of his touch, his runs etc etc must not forget that, even with these deficiencies, Lukaku is one of the best strikers in the division.

He may not improve markedly, but he will improve, because he has only just turned 21. He cannot have everything, because players of his age cannot have everything yet. Look at Ronaldo at 21. At Bale. At Drogba and even Henry.

There is no guarantee that Lukaku will become a world beater, but that does not need to be the argument here. A player who guarantees goals, as Lukaku does, is in short supply. A player who does what he does at such a young age in a top league, is extremely extremely rare. We don't have to buy Lukaku on the basis that he will become one of the best strikers in the world. We can buy him as he is now: a 1 in 2 striker with a lot to improve.

And, it's interesting to see that a lot of people on here quote Bony as an alternative. I like Bony, but he also has issues with his game, is 4½ years older than Lukaku and only scored one more goal last season despite taking several penalties (even if he played in an inferior team).

In Lukaku, I have confidence that, with him, we'd have a potential 20-goal-a-season striker on our hands. We can buy from the Championship, from abroad, and spend half the fee, and likely get a lot less goals and a lot more years.

Bony is an alternative, and would probably cost a similar amount. The only other striker who I think can offer a similar goal threat for cheaper is Hernandez, and he is older and also has issues with his game.

Tom Bowers
683 Posted 24/06/2014 at 13:22:43
Very few strikers are able to achieve anything without good support unless they are very special, like Messi. Lukaku is up there as a good leader, as his goals testify, but obviously is no Neymar or Messi as he plays a different kind of role.

The problem from Everton's point of view is not being in the Champions League and many teams who are may be a better prospect to tempt him.

Depending on his situation, and the fitness of Kone and Traore, that will determine if RM has to make another acquisition in that area. It's all up in the air due to the World Cup but I am sure the rumours will be rife soon enough connecting the Blues to many players.

Sue Brown
684 Posted 24/06/2014 at 13:32:37
I would love Lukaku back next season, but at what cost?

I'm just reading in today's paper Jose Mourinho has his sights on Bainsey... is this what Bill meant with his "friends at Chelsea" jibe?

Dan McKie
685 Posted 24/06/2014 at 13:59:03
I'd be open to throwing Baines in to bring the price down if that were true, Sue. I just think that we still need to be selling players at the right time, and in Oviedo and if Garbutt fulfills his promise, they we have two able players ready to step in.
David Hallwood
689 Posted 24/06/2014 at 14:11:31
Agree with Dan (#685) great player, but I think we looked better with Oviedo, and if that what it takes to get Lukaku so be it. Plus it will be good for Baines to play in the CL – win-win all round.

Having said that, I don't believe a word until it happens.

Sam Hoare
690 Posted 24/06/2014 at 14:07:16
Lukaku is not coming back. Is that not clear?
Ray Roche
712 Posted 24/06/2014 at 16:26:48
Jim Knightley
@680

Jim, read my comments again. Or get someone to explain them to you. I did not compare Lukaku to Branch and Cadamarteri in any way other than players who showed exceptional promise at an early age. At 16 years old, Venables took Branch to a full England game to gain experience, Venables thought he was a star in the making. Er...no, he wasn't. A big headed tool who eventually did time, yes.

The 3 players I mentioned were not being compared like for like with Lukaku, but as young men showing promise, a promise which never materialised in two cases and the jury is still out on Rodwell, but I seem to recall him being touted as a world beater on these pages.

You say, "He may not improve markedly, but he will improve,", well, it's EuroLottery day, so I'd like to borrow your crystal ball for an hour or so. There are absolutely NO guarantees that any player will definitely improve. I'm sure even an ever optimistic you could name a score of players whose potential was never realised.

I repeat, I like Lukaku and I would like to see him as a permanent signing, but, as yet, NOT at £30m. And would you sanction blowing our entire transfer budget on one player, even if that budget was £20m?

The sooner the season starts, the better, we won't have to argue about any old stuff to pass the time.....

Dan McKie
713 Posted 24/06/2014 at 16:45:02
Clear from what, Sam?
Jim Knightley
718 Posted 24/06/2014 at 17:39:31
Ray...of course you compare them. You are bringing up players who you believe have flattered to deceive, despite an alarming inability to see the difference between Lukaku and the players you mention. None of those has achieved what Lukaku has in this. They are utterly incomparable. Lukaku has scored 32 goals in two seasons..how many times do I need to say that, before you grasp that he is beyond the level of potentially good: 32 goals is already very very good. Better than the vast majority of strikers in this league, despite being much younger than most of them. Lukaku is not a 16 year old who was taken along to an England game for experience (A laughable example of Branch's supposed high potential - he managed one under 21 game for England).

And try reading my post again. Or get someone to explain it to you.

Let me reiterate for you benefit: 'There is no guarantee that Lukaku will become a world beater, but that does not need to be the argument here. A player who guarantees goals, as Lukaku does, is in short supply. A player who does what he does at such a young age in a top league, is extremely extremely rare. We don't have to buy Lukaku on the basis that he will become one of the best strikers in the world. We can buy him as he is now: a 1 in 2 striker with a lot to improve.'

He may become world class, he may not, but it does not matter. His goals already illustrate that he is good enough for our club, and good enough to be a 1 in 2 Premier League striker. Teams will pay 20million to get a 1 in 2, who has litter prospect of improvement. Lukaku is a 1 in 2 striker with significant potential.

Ray Roche
721 Posted 24/06/2014 at 18:01:40
Jim, I've asked someone to explain it to me, he agrees with me. To reiterate, I LIKE LUKAKU! I WOULD LIKE US TO SIGN HIM. BUT NOT AT £30M! I shall now stop shouting at the screen.

You say, "A laughable example of Branch's supposed high potential - he managed one under 21 game for England", You would be better aiming that comment at Venables, he took him, not me. But then again, I suppose you regard your own football knowledge as superior to his. I was merely trying, and obviously failing, to point out that players as young as those mentioned, including Lukaku, have yet to finish developing, maturing, and may well fail to live up to their potential.

You further say "he is good enough for our club". Which is why I'd like us to buy him. What I don't want is for us to blow £30m on him, even if we had it to blow.

Now, go and get yer tea, there's a good lad.

Tim Greeley
753 Posted 24/06/2014 at 19:55:14
Bony, Kone and Traore - three headed monster. Steven Naismith is the NECK.
Jim Knightley
814 Posted 25/06/2014 at 00:10:51
Ray... again, how is a 16-year-old comparable to Lukaku? Seriously?! He played one Under-21 game. Young players are often invited to England games. What are you talking about?

I had a problem with Christopher's original comment, because Lukaku is not worth £12M. Personally I do not know where the figure of £30M has come from, and expect we can get him yet. But, as I keep reiterating over and over again – and please pay special attention to this – the question with Lukaku, unlike the other bizarre comparisons you mention, is not purely about potential, because he is already a top Premier League striker at 21.

As I keep reiterating – he has scored 32 goals in 2 seasons. We do not need to spend the money hoping that he becomes much better. We can spend it in the hope that he does, and if he does not go onto become a world beater, we will still have a 1-in-2 Premier League striker. Do you understand yet?

Branch and Cadamarteri are piss poor examples when discussing strikers failing to live up to their potential in an argument related to Lukaku, because they never even had a half-season as successful as his last two seasons. They were never talked about as Lukaku is, and never made an impact in the Premier League as Lukaku has. They were never top strikers, whereas Lukaku clearly is. We do not need to buy him hoping he will become one.

Ray Roche
851 Posted 25/06/2014 at 07:50:04
Jim, I used Branch etc, as examples of how a player can look an exceptional talent when he is young, but provides no guarantee that he will deliver when he matures.

I KNOW Lukaku has scored in the Prem. And I know that, in some matches, he is exceptional. But I also know that in some matches he stinks the house out whilst wearing his cloak of invisibility, a similar garment to the one I seem to wear when attempting to get served in a young people's bar...

Now, if you can't see how my use of Branch etc, as extreme examples of how much lauded players can turn to crap, despite apparently knowledgeable observers regarding them as future stars... well, I don't know what goes on in your head when you read stuff. It's quite clear to someone with English as their first language.

I have NOT said anything other than that Lukaku is, despite his commendable 15-17 goals, not the finished article and in our parlous financial state, would be a gamble. £30M-£32M is the fee bandied about in most of the popular press. I doubt if you have any more access to the "inside line" regarding transfers than I do so I accept that that is the sort of fee we would be expected to pay.

Lukaku has been sent from one club to another and could possibly end up like Yakubu, (although just turned 21, not 46) having a real hunger for his first season and then spending half the match grazing near the corner flag. If Lukaku was as good as you seem to think surely Chelsea, who struggled up front last season to find a striker, would not be trying to offload him?

Read my first contribution at 547 again and tell me what is wrong with it. If we are never going to see each others point of view, or if you are being deliberately obtuse because the season is still weeks away and no one else will argue with you, then we might as well stop wasting time, so I will fart in your general direction and practise my short game.

Ray Roche
852 Posted 25/06/2014 at 08:14:25
"seem", not "seam"
Jim Knightley
887 Posted 25/06/2014 at 11:35:19
Ray..you are so tiresome. This is what you say, again, in your last message:

'Now, if you can't see how my use of Branch etc., as extreme examples of how much lauded players can turn to crap, despite apparently knowledgeable observers regarding them as future stars...'

Now, a few questions for you 1) Do you think that comparing Branch, even for rhetorical reasons, with Lukaku is valuable? (Or Cadamarteri?) Do you not see the difference between comparing a 16-year-old who never ever made a significant impact on the Premier League to a 21-year-old who has made a significant impact, and is among the top scorers for the last two seasons. Is this question easy enough for you, or do you need me to break it down even more?

You cannot assess a talent at 16 properly in most cases. As I have said, young players are often brought along to international games. But lots of 16-year-olds do not make it. That Branch only received one Under-21 cap, which is not exactly difficult for an even half talented top league English player to do (check out the Under-21 squads for the last few years), is indicative of how completely different he is as a source of comparison. How can you not see how inanely absurd using him and Cadamarteri as comparative subjects are?

And, are you really negating Lukaku's talent in part because Chelski are willing to let him go? The same Chelsea, managed by the prideful Mourinho, who let a majestic Mata leave despite Mata being Chelski's best player two seasons in a row? The same Mourinho who let Robben go — Has Robben done well since or do you think was a poor decision in retrospect? Do you really think pointing to a manager's/club's decisions to validate your argument is a good practice?

Lukaku outscored all Chelski strikers at our club. Many pundits and journalists criticised Mourinho's decision to let Lukaku leave, along with Chelsea fans. I may as well to point to their opinions, because it is no less tenuous than the way you point to Chelsea's, or Venables's, as a means to validate yours.

As I keep arguing... and try your very best to understand this: We do not need to buy Lukaku based on his 'potential'. He is not a Branch or Cadamarteri. He is already a top Premier League striker, and the only player in this league to score more league goals than Lukaku in both this season and last season is Luis Suarez. The same Suarez who reportedly has a near on £70million buyout clause in his contract, which would have probably been met by Barcelona if not for another absurd bite yesterday.

Now, as I keep reiterating and reiterating and reiterating — I'm trying to move the argument away from a discussion about potential, because Lukaku's massive potential does not have to be realised to make a big transfer fee fair. We do not know his transfer fee. If you think the press's guessing is valid, then you have no idea about the way the press operates in this country. Journalists guess, just as the usual football fan can guess. £30M is as much speculation as £20M is, as I thought even minor knowledge about bullshit stories about Everton players and Everton fans would have taught you. A not wholly unrelated example was illustrated in the not-so-distant past: A Twitter user made up a rumour about an Arsenal transfer target with a false fee – a few days later this rumour appeared in the Daily Mail, exactly as it appeared in Twitter. It is perhaps needless to say that there was no truth to the rumour.

One more time... just in case you missed it. You've compared a player who has only been outscored in successive seasons by Suarez (by which I mean a player who scored more league goals than him last season, and did so again this season) to Branch and Cadamarteri, one of whom managed a career best of 4 premier league goals in one season. If you do not see the pointlessness of that comparison, and the sheer stupidity of it as a lynchpin for exploring unrealised potential in relation to Lukaku, then there is absolutely no helping you.

Ray Roche
914 Posted 25/06/2014 at 12:57:25
Jim, let's just leave it eh? You can't even begin to understand my remarks that players may fail to live up to expectations, and you also fail to acknowledge the possibility that Lukaku may or may not reach his possible limits and also that I'd be delighted if we bought him. But not at the fees being talked about. Because he appears to drift between superb forward and a cart horse. (A sort of Fred Pickering for the 21st century.)

Why? Because he has not yet realised his full potential. Despite your protestations that he has. And there is no way of knowing if he will continue as he is, or improve or go backwards. I hope he does reach the heights, either with us or elsewhere. He seems to be an intelligent, likeable sort of chap, albeit with a level of confidence in his ability that isn't always matched by performance.

Whether he has had decent service or not, he has certainly failed to live up to his expectation in the World Cup "so far". And he will never be in the same league as Suarez as a player so your mentioning him and Suarez is a bit silly really. By your reasoning, that is. You know, comparing extreme examples...

However, you appear to be a self-appointed fount of knowledge regarding the transfer market so, yes, maybe we should all bow to your superior ability and spunk our entire wedge on him.

And maybe you are in full receipt of all the reasons behind Mata, Robben etc leaving Chelsea? Maybe there were reasons even you don't know about and not just Jose binning (good) players he didn't like. Maybe you should be their manager instead. You probably think you're good enough.

You say, "He is already a top Premier League striker", so you put him on par with Suarez, Sturridge, RvP? I don't. He IS a good player, a very good prospect and I'd buy him for the right money. Read the last bit again. For the right money.

But, believe me, if I thought that I needed helping, you'd be way down the list of potential helpers. I can listen to enough self-opinionated crap on TalkSport.

Jim Knightley
923 Posted 25/06/2014 at 13:51:43
Ray.. do you have trouble reading? I'm not saying that Lukaku has reached his full potential, but that he is already a very good Premier League striker in spite of that. His potential is a massive plus as a purchase option, but it does not need to be the reason we buy him because, as illustrated by the goal statistics I keep reiterating, he has proved over the last two seasons that he is an extremely good Premier League striker.

The source of my two-season comparison was to illustrate that he has achieved a consistency which other strikers, because of injury or other reasons, have not. I'm not putting him on a par with Van Persie and Suarez, because saying Lukaku is a top striker is not doing that. I would put him on a par with the likes of Bony, Negredo, Giroud etc, who would attract significant transfer fees despite being much older, and without the sell-on value, and the potential factor, offered by Lukaku.

And obviously there are reasons Mata and Robben have left Chelski. I think it's brilliant that you've acknowledged that, after using Chelsea's readiness to ostensibly sell Lukaku as a means to critique my reading of his talent. I'd call it progress if you were not so ostensibly unaware of it. Do you not see the stupidity of such contradictory opinions? Has it not occurred to you that perhaps Mourinho does not get on with Lukaku? Or more realistically, does not think he is the right striker to be the focal point of their strike force? Not, as you state: "If Lukaku was as good as you seem to think surely Chelsea, who struggled up front last season to find a striker, would not be trying to offload him?"

I think it's incredible how you consistently prioritise your subjectivity, and then attack me in pathetic terms for doing the same with mine? Your use of Branch and Cadamarteri as sources of comparisons, which others have also criticised (see Andrew at 574 and Phil at 580), stands out as one of the stupidest comments I've read on this forum.

It's amazing that you've still not acknowledged the absurdity of the comparisons and that you continue to try to argue for the validity of the comment. It's ironic really, because it's exactly the kind of thing that Adrian Durham would say in order to provoke anger. The difference is that he clearly does it intentionally, but you seem utterly unconscious of the absurdity of it.

Ray Roche
954 Posted 25/06/2014 at 15:18:55
Jim, all the comments you make in your first paragraph are the same as the comments I have been making. We clearly differ in as much as I, being more of a realist, can accept that Lukaku MAY not realise his full potential, despite that, I have already said that I'd be delighted if we bought him. Just not for silly money.

Where do we disagree? Because I have used a couple of examples of young players who didn't realise their potential and point out that Lukaku MAY not improve on what he already is? Please point out where that is wrong, if you can. As you say, I have trouble reading... Maybe I missed something. As far as I can remember they were potentially great prospects who crashed and burned. Can't you see that? But they were still bloody "potentially great prospects" at a similar and younger, and Lukaku is a very, very good prospect who has shown signs, real signs, that he may be the real deal.

While you're at it, point out where I make a direct comparison with Branch and Cadamateri regarding their ability when they were Lukaku's age, considering Cadamateri was 22 when he left, and not 16. The repeated remark about Branch and young players travelling with the full England squad would strengthen my case, if anything, about not realising potential.

As for Chelsea, I think that there may well be underlying reasons why Mourinho doesn't fancy him; maybe he just doesn't rate him, maybe he doesn't like the guy, maybe Lukaku has been a bit mouthy, in Jose's opinion. Mourinho may act like a fool but I doubt if he is one and feel sure he'd play him if he thought he was the real deal and capable of making it with them. With a top striker Chelsea could well have finished top and I doubt if that has escaped Mourinho and I also doubt if his well acknowledged pride would prevent him from playing Lukaku if he thought he would do the job.

"And obviously there are reasons Mata and Robben have left Chelski. I think it's brilliant that you've acknowledged that." Jim, you're in danger of becoming a patronising prat. Mourinho sold Mata for reasons that he and not you or I know, but to use that sale as a stick with which to hit Mourinho with... bit silly. Robben, Mata etc may well have wanted to move for the reason most footballers move: Money.

A question for you, Jim, and it requires a one word answer, ignore all the other stuff above, just Yes or No: Are you the Osman-hating oaf who sits two rows behind me in the St End?

Jim Knightley
974 Posted 25/06/2014 at 17:02:18
Nope. I do not hate Osman, I just think he was played out of position for a very long time, and is a squad player now, not a starter.

Ray, I can criticise Mourinho if I want. Everything you say merely re-enforces my point - You used Chelski's ostensible desire to sell Lukaku as a means to question his ability - "If Lukaku was as good as you seem to think surely Chelsea, who struggled up front last season to find a striker, would not be trying to offload him?"

-Those were your words were they not? But, you go on to acknowledge that Chelsea have sold top players (Robben has gone on to become a better player since leaving Chelsea) because of reasons why may not be related to their ability only. Do you not see the contradiction? Mourinho is also not beyond criticism. Do you think managers can't be wrong? Mourinho failed in his last season at Real Madrid, and failed last season as well in my opinion. He spent alot of money, and did not improve Chelsea's league positioning. Personally I think that Lukaku, in despite of his bad games, has proved that he should have started for Chelski last season above any of their other striking options.

And Ray, I would disagree entirely that Branch and Cadamarteri were similarly good prospects to Lukaku. Honestly, I think that's the Everton in you talking. This is one of the primary areas where we disagree. Cadamarteri was the flavor of the month for a matter of months. Branch never made a significant impact. They were Jose Baxter's not Wayne Rooney's. Lukaku was talked about as the next Drogba when in Belgium, when he was scoring alot of goals in the top flight. He has since moved to England, and has managed 32 Prem goals in two seasons. Invoking comparisons between Lukaku and the former of Everton players, is like comparing a Ferrari with a Fiat. Or perhaps more appropriately, a drawing of a Ferrari with a Ferrari.

Phil said it very well: ''The difference between Lukaku and Rodwell, Cadamarteri or Jeffers is that Rom has proven he can cut it in the Premier League. He is a very good player already — the fact he is so young and (hopefully) not the finished article just makes him even more appealing.''

As I keep saying to you, and as your last comment again forgets, I've been trying to direct this argument away from his potential for sometime, because it is only one factor, not the most important factor, behind a potential purchase. I keep bringing up the goals, over and over again, to demonstrate that Lukaku as he is now, is a top striker. He does not have to realise his potential to become one: He already is. If we buy Lukaku (We won't: A bigger European team will imo), we will be getting a 1 in 2 striker who, at 21, may become world beater, with sell-on value. If he does not, it does not matter, because he is not going to suddenly lose all his ability. He has proved in two seasons that buying him does not need to be about potential, but about his ability now. He has brought the goal-scoring record he had in Belgium into the Premiership. This is not about me being a realist or an optimist - The stats are there on paper: Lukaku as a 19 and 20 year has scored 32 goals in 66 appearances for Everton and WBA, and of those appearances, only 49 were starts.

If Lukaku was a 25 year old who had scored 32 goals in 49 starts during the last two seasons in the Prem, and he was available for 25million would we turn him down? I personally wouldn't, and I definitely would not turn him down after he just turned 21. He is already a top striker, and if he can improve on the weaknesses we all see in his game, he can become one of the best strikers in the world.

Ray Roche
979 Posted 25/06/2014 at 18:29:31
Jim, for positively the last time, I have not said Cadamarteri and Branch were equals to Lukaku in ability. I said, rightly, that they showed exceptional promise at a young age, and that that promise was never realised. That's all. I then said that Lukaku is not the finished article. He isn't. That's all. I said that Lukaku, in view of his youth, may well regress. He might. He has a good scoring record. I'd like him at Goodison. For the right money. I asked you if you would spend all our money on him. You never responded to that. So, would you?
You have no idea why Lukaku doesn't appear to wanted at Chelsea. And you have no idea why Robben, Mata or any other player left Chelsea. Maybe they asked to go for another big pay day. Why do YOU think Mourinho got rid of those players. Why do YOU think he doesn't rate Lukaku?

Phil made a very good remark, he usually does although I don't believe Phil understood what I had said and the manner in which I said it.

More later, Council meeting in 20 mins.

And no, I'm not a Councillor, just taking some to task, thank you for winding me up.... I work better when I'm pissed off..

Jim Knightley
027 Posted 25/06/2014 at 20:01:35
Ray...

'Football history is littered with the "Next Big Thing", the next George Best, etc., young players who flattered to deceive. Rodwell, for instance, who's progress has gone backward, and the likes of Cadamarteri or Branch.'

It's a comparison. As I, and others have argued, the comparison is problematic because 1) Lukaku is far better 2) Lukaku has scored 32 goals in two seasons. If you didn't mean to compare them, then you shouldn't have said it. Me and others have not argued against something you haven't said. I have consistently argued that this comparison is problematic, because Lukaku is already an established Premier League player, and we do not need to buy him based on his potential, but based on what he offers now, whilst hoping that he grows into the world-beater he can potentially become. You've consistently ignored this.

With respect to our budget: I expect that we could buy Lukaku for 20-25million, and I do think that estimate is too far off. What do you think our budget will be this summer? I'm expecting, with the extra £30million tv money, the general trimming of the wage budget, and the money accrued through transfers, that we will have between £35 and 40 million. I'm being optimistic, but I do not feel that this amount is unreasonable (although Kenwright has failed to meet expectations before). I would be, based on these estimates, completely willing to spend big on Lukaku, because I believe that 1) he would solve our striking problem 2) He has all the qualities required to success as a lone striker or with a strike partner 3) He has significant potential for further development and a big transfer fee in the future.
I would not want to see us spend our entire budget on him honestly, because I believe we need to add at least 7 players to the playing squad, given our Europa league demands. But, if we let him go, I think we will have lost out on a future star, and the kind of player capable of taking us to the next level (Even if we need 3 or 4). I also do not think that there are any other obvious low budget alternatives. Bony is obviously mentioned alot, but I would not fancy him for 20million. I think he is a very good striker, but he has some awful games too, and is older than Lukaku. I like Benteke, but I think he is a lesser player than Lukaku. Some foreign names are thrown around like Batshuayi, but I would not like to see us gamble 6-8million on a player more likely to be a failure than become the striker we need. The only striker who I feel could be available and would really offer a really suitable alternative for a reasonable fee is Hernandez. He is both footed, fantastic in the air, and has proven that he can play, and score, in this league. I think that we could get him for nearer 10mil then 15mil, and use the rest of the money elsewhere. If not Hernandez, then I can only think of Remy and Ba as domestic alternatives, and neither would compare to Lukaku.

But, in general, if we buy from England we will spend alot of money. If we buy from abroad, it will be with risk. I feel that Lukaku offers a risk free option, and I would willingly see us spend most of our budget on him.

With respect to Robben, I think that Premier League history has proven that Mourinho likes hard working players. I think Robben is a luxury who must be given the freedom to do what he wants, which Mourinho will not give. I also think that Robben has an ego, and does not like to play with minor injuries, which naturally put him on a collision course with Mourinho's expectations and not so insignificant ego. I think it was a massive error to let Robben goal, because I think, Ronaldo and Messi aside, he has been the most exception wide player in the world over an extended period (better than Ribery imo). I think Mourinho let Mata go for similar reasons: i.e his defensive mindset, and his preference for hard-working players. Mourinho has to prioritise Hazard because of what he offers creatively, and his obvious potential. Hazard though is not great at tracking back, and is a selfish player at times, which has led to Mourinho criticising him in the press (utterly wrongly imo - when a big move comes in from Barca, Real or PSG it will weaken Chelski's position). Mourinho consequently went with Oscar above Mata, because Oscar works far harder than Mata, even if he offers less creatively and in terms of goals than Mata. I believe it was a mistake to let Mata go, but that said, Mata is not the kind of player who should be sitting on the bench, and the fair play rules have necessitated a balancing of the book. I think Mourinho's purchase of Salah fits in perfectly with his desire for hard working midfielders. But this pragmatism is the reason he had to leave Madrid, and I think it may be the reason why Chelsea fans get feed up with him eventually, even if he brings trophies. If Hazard follows Mata out the door in the long run, I think Chelsea fans will be alot less supportive. Unfortunately, I think Mourinho has pulled off the coup of the summer by bringing in Fabregas. He is hard working, offers creativity, and a fantastic goal return which Xavi and Iniesta, whilst more technically gifted, did not offer. On the plus side, Chelski need to buy another top CB, and the incoming Costa will probably result in Lukaku leaving. If Lukaku's 'bad' world cup continues I think it can benefit us, as 4 or 5 goals would have pushed up his asking price. But, that said, as I've previously mentioned, I think Athletico is a more likely destination, and I would not be surprised if Arsenal and Spurs went him for either, or one of the bigger Italian clubs (Milan may well need to replace Balotelli or Napoli Higauin if the Barca rumours are true and they cannot pull off a deal for Suarez or Aguero).

Ray Roche
039 Posted 25/06/2014 at 20:35:51
Jim, I don't know how to say this, but, apart from your first paragraph (obviously!) I agree with your assessment of potential strikers. I think, with Bill at the helm, a budget of £35 and 40 million is optimistic, and that you could knock £10m off that right away, especially when Roberto has made it clear that he expects to be delving into the loan market again. Although I have no problem with loaning players, I would sooner see us buy and develop players ourselves rather than improve them for the parent club. I mentioned on here a week or so back that Chelsea have just about recovered their initial fee for Lukaku with the loan fees ourselves and WBA have paid for his services, I believe we paid £5m for him last season, so any fee they get for him is almost all clear profit. Of the three, Bony, Lukaku and Benteke, I would sooner have Lukaku as a purchase. However, he seems to want CL football and we can't as yet, give him that. Be interesting to see how things go after the WC if Spurs put a big money offer in and wave some cash in front of him. That often focuses the mind of a player...

Your comments on Bony are, I believe pretty accurate, and Benteke appears, to me, to be of a more mercenary character. I may be doing him a disservice by saying that but it's how I see him. Hernandez is a good call and I'd have him in a heartbeat. If he wants more game time he may possibly move, too, depending on how his new manager sees his future.
Of the Chelsea players you mention, I must admit, Oscar and Hazard would be my choice over Mata, good though he undoubtedly is. Robben is a fantastic talent but if only he'd "man up" and stop the diving and feigning injury. If there's one thing that really naffs me off it's the hand to the face and crying for a foul that Robben can do so well. Why? He doesn't need to do that. (OK, I'm a bit old school, having been fed a diet in my youth of Tony Kay, Alex Parker and Johnny Morrissey etc., who would never let the opposition see that they were hurt.)

Fabregas, too, is one hell of a signing and it will be interesting to see if they splash much more cash in their quest for a new CH. I also mentioned the other day that Stones appears to be considering changing his agent to WMG. And what do you think a new agent would do to justify their position? Get a move for much more money? Or am I being too cynical?

So, for definitely the last time, Jim, I haven't been comparing B and C with Lukaku as direct comparisons. OK? They, and it could have been anyone from Martin Murray (remember him?) to Billy Kenny, were just used to illustrate instances where promising players fail to make it. I have already accepted that Lukaku is a better bet than they were, but not a £30m player. I am also of the mind that he is nowhere near the finished article and, as I said, is more of a Fred Pickering than an Alex Young. Incidentally, look up Pickering's goals to game ratio. That's impressive, too.

Jim Knightley
287 Posted 27/06/2014 at 00:14:30
I really hope there is nothing to worry about re Stones, but, given the nature of modern football, I would not be surprised if there is. I personally have some concerns about the amount of errors he makes, but, if he grows into the real deal, how long before someone makes a big bid?

Man Utd, Chelski and Man City do not have fantastic CB options, and I fear that Stones could well be a target, especially because his versatility offers an additional plus. And I'm not sure if he would show the loyalty of a Baines or Coleman. He has not been at the club very long, and I think the bright lights of the Champions League could be an understandable attraction.

Joe Edwards
599 Posted 29/06/2014 at 12:57:17
To be honest, I am quite optimistic regarding Traoré; the deft little back heel flip he used to score his goal shows that he is an instinctive goal poacher. I am really looking forward to him topping Lukaku's goal tally next season.

At least under El Bob, we know the team won't be allowed to resort to lumping long balls up to him so he may stand half a chance of scoring plenty more tricky little goals to keep us smiling through the season.

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