Nikica Jelavic’s hopes of remaining an Everton player this summer have taken a turn for the bleaker amid reports that Hamburg are in discussions with the Merseysiders over a move for the Croatian forward.
Arouna Kone moved from Wigan to Goodison Park as part of the convoy of ex-Latics Roberto Martinez managed to convince to follow his lead and his arrival could is likely to see Jelavic pushed further down the pecking order.
After enjoying an electrifying start to his career in England, in which he scored 11 goals in his first 16 Toffees games following a £6m move from Rangers, the 27-year-old failed to reproduce anything close to these standards last season and Bundesliga side Hamburg appear ready to throw him a reprieve.
The Germans are preparing an offer of the same figure that Everton paid for Jelavic in 2011 and, with Kone likely to be preferred in attack, they could be open to selling.
A greater athleticism and off-the-ball ability, supplemented by an eye for goal that allowed the Ivorian to notch 11 times during Wigan’s rollercoaster 2012/13 campaign, should give Kone the edge in Martinez’ plans, who seems to value a striker who can offer more to the team than simply just finding the back of the net.
While Jelavic does possess plenty of the qualities that the modern day centre forward requires, he lacks the mobility that Kone provides, as well as the rugged physicality of Victor Anichebe, who found himself as Everton’s first choice hitman ahead of the Croat towards the end of last term.
Mustering just one Premier League goal in 2013 to date suggests that he struggles to fit in with Everton’s current set up. While Martinez is almost certain to alter that significantly, the likes of Kevin Mirallas, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar are those who will be tasked with providing goalscoring opportunities and Jelavic clearly wasn’t the most fruitful when operating alongside these last term.
All the signs suggest that the Croatian is on his way out of Goodison and it doesn’t appear as though it’ll hinder their 11/5-rated prospects of finishing in the top six this season.
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