According to reports in The Sun, Everton are said to be lining up a move for Villarreal striker Cedric Bakambu, who is rated at around £25m, as they look for a potential replacement for the unsettled Romelu Lukaku.
The Belgian is determined to leave the club this summer in order to play Champions League football, and has turned down a new five-year deal that would see him become the best-paid player in the Toffees’ history.
With the 23-year-old wanting out, manager Ronald Koeman has been forced to start searching for players that could make the same impact as the striker has during his time at Goodison Park, and is understood to be interested in Bakambu.
The Dutch manager will need a player that has proven he can find the net on a regular basis like Lukaku – who has 21 Premier League goals this season and is Everton’s all-time record marksman in the Premier League despite being in just his fourth campaign with the Merseyside outfit.
However, despite the links with the La Liga attacker, he doesn’t seem to match this requirement – based on this term’s stats at least.
The 25-year-old scored 12 goals in 34 league games and an impressive 22 in 51 appearances in all competitions for the Spanish club last season, but he has struggled to reproduce those minutes and recapture that form this.
The DR Congo international has scored just three goals from 20 shots in total in 16 La Liga appearances for high-flying Villarreal.
He hasn’t shown much of a creative spark either with no assists and just six key passes, which is an inferior record to that of Lukaku.
The Belgian has proven that he is more than just a goal-getter, also producing six assists for his teammates in the Premier League this season.
Bakambu only has a 28% success rate when it comes to aerial duels too, which suggests that he also wouldn’t be able to replace the height and physical threat that the Toffees striker is able to provide against Premier League defenders.
All in all, it looks as though Ronald Koeman and Everton should look to splash the cash elsewhere if they want a striker who can come close to filling Lukaku’s boots if he leaves this summer.