In one the January transfer window’s most surprising twists thus far, Everton forward Samuel Eto’o looks set to leave Goodison Park this month for Serie A side Sampdoria.
The three-time Champions League winner only joined the Toffees on a free transfer from Chelsea in the summer, but has now passed a medical with the Italian outfit and is expected to complete a deal within the next few days.
Everton have struggled for form this season however so replacing the 33 year-old, who scored three Premier League goals for the Merseysiders, is now imperative. It’ll have to be done on a budget too – the Eto’o deal is reportedly worth just £1.5million.
With that in mind, we’ve listed FIVE cut-price replacements for the Cameroon legend.
Fenerbahce striker Emmanuel Emenike has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur this month, but with the reports seemingly coming from his agent rather than north London, it’s likely the Toffees can muscle in on any potential deal.
Returns of 14 in 40 for the Turkish club and seven in 28 for the Nigerian national team may be rather ordinary, but the 27 year-old is blessed with all the pace, power and directness one could want in a Premier League striker.
A decent back-up to Romelu Lukaku, the tabloids claim the Super Eagles striker is available for around £8million this month, which should be just within Everton’s financial reach.
Once tipped to set La Liga ablaze during his prolific tenure with Espanyol B and Spain’s U21 squad, netting eight goals in just four appearances for La Rojita way back in 2005, Jonathan Soriano is a former prodigy that never quite made the grade at top level.
At the age of 29 however, the Spanish striker’s career is amid an intriguing renaissance, leaving Barcelona B in summer 2012 with 55 goals in 80 appearances and since going on to claim an incredible 112 goals in 126 outings for current club Red Bull Salzburg.
Currently enjoying the best form of his career – 30 goals in 30 appearances, including seven in the Europa League – the 5 foot 11 front-man, blessed with great technical ability and natural pedigree, could be worth a punt this month.
According to a summer report from Newcastle publication The Journal, the Austrian outfit could sell for as little as £2million.
Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu excelled on loan at Goodison Park last season, so why not launch a loan swoop for another member of the Catalan crop in Munir El Haddadi?
The 19 year-old stood in for suspended striker Luis Suarez at the start of the season and, despite only netting once in 16 outings for Barcelona’s first string, impressed in his cameo capacity, demonstrating his blend of pace, creativity and skill.
There’s already been plenty of speculation suggesting the 5 foot 9 forward could be farmed out this month, with The Express mooting Arsenal and Chelsea as potential loan destinations back in December.
Both clubs are relatively well endowed up front however and Everton can offer El Haddadi considerably more game-time. Head coach Luis Enrique, however, has recently announced his intentions to use the young striker on sparing occasions throughout the campaign.
You might remember Anthony Modeste from his brief spell at Blackburn Rovers, making five appearances in 2012 as the Ewood Park outfit plummeted out of the Premier League.
He failed to register a goal in England but has since gone on to prove his worth in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, netting 15 times during a single campaign with Bastia and 14 times in 32 appearances amid an 18 month stay with Hoffenheim.
That includes four goals in just seven starts this year and, in addition to firepower, the 26 year-old offers a physically imposing 6 foot 1 frame that should serve him well in the Premiership – especially in Everton’s customary lone striker role.
Perhaps not an obvious suggestion, considering Tottenham’s Emmanuel Adebayor has left virtually every club he’s played for in the Premier League on rather sour terms – particularly Arsenal and Manchester City – and looks set to leave White Hart Lane in a similar manner.
But the Togo international’s goal record has remained consistent throughout his career in England, with 96 in 225 top flight outings – including eleven goals last year- and in terms of physique and style, shares many traits with Everton’s first choice striker, Romelu Lukaku.
Furthermore, the Lilywhites will be pleased just to get Adebayor off the wage bill at this moment in time and would likely accept nominal offers for the 30 year-old.
Whether Everton, Spurs or in fact, anybody in the world, could convince the 6 foot 3 striker to walk away from his £100k per-week contract however, not set to expire until 2016, remains to be seen.