By Jack Groom
It has been a rather topsy-turvy month for Everton thus far, with highs and lows aplenty. However, the mood around the club could be increased with one shrewd transfer – the capture of Andre Gray.
The Burnley striker would offer much needed support to an ailing attack and would fit well into the 3-5-2 deployed by boss Ronald Koeman in recent weeks.
After top-scorer Romelu Lukaku with 12, the next highest goalscorer at the club is wing-back Seamus Coleman with four, ahead of Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley with three apiece.
For a team in seventh position in the Premier League, these are very low totals and staggeringly it is only Mirallas who can be classed as a true forward within that list.
Fellow attackers Enner Valencia and Arouna Kone have notched a mere one goal between them, whilst 19-year-old Ademola Lookman cannot be expected to shoulder the weight of being first-choice in a Premier League team just yet.
This lack of striking competition for Lukaku could leave him complacent about his place in the team and if so reduce his fight and hunger in performances on the pitch
Yet if the club were to secure the signing of Gray, who has netted six times in the league this season, then this would immediately put the Belgian back on his toes, with the addition of a fellow striker capable of scoring regularly.
Additionally, the strengths of the Burnley man would fit well into the formation displayed at Goodison Park.
The 25-year-old has pace in abundance, whilst also possessing a solid physique for a man of relatively short stature. He also contains a good touch and a composed head, with all making him the player he is today.
These qualities will therefore allow him to not just hold the ball up well with his back to goal, but also run in behind and stretch defences should he be required to play that role in the team.
Best used where he is able to utilise his speed, should he play with Lukaku then both have the sufficient qualities able to complement each other’s games.
The ex-Luton and Brentford man has proven his sharp eye for the back of the net during his time at Kenilworth Road, Griffin Park and Turf Moor, so Toffees supporters need not worry about his capabilities in front of goal, especially considering his respectable tally this season of averaging one goal every 208 minutes.
With the recent takeover at the club money would not be an issue, with the forward commanding a likely fee of around than £15 million. When you take into consideration the £25 million paid for Yannick Bolasie, this shows it would be well inside their price range.
All in all, Gray would prove to be a very profitable buy for the Liverpool-based club. Able to take the pressure off their leading man whilst simultaneously fitting into their system, and not breaking the bank in the process – what’s not to like?