Five potential Everton signings: can Toffees top Lukaku deal?
Everton, 13/2 for a top four finish, have potentially pulled off one of the signings of the summer after their sensational swoop for Romelu Lukaku, who was snared from Chelsea for a club record fee of £28m.
Lukaku was a loan star for Everton last term, netting 16 goals in 33 appearances for the Merseysiders, as they narrowly missed out on a Champions League spot to Arsenal.
If the Toffees are to realise their European ambitions, though, the scintillating striker will ideally be one of many attacking talents to pitch up at Goodison Park this transfer window. Martinez, who delighted fans with his side’s exhilarating football last campaign, needs to make further additions.
Speaking before the deal for Lukaku, the Spaniard confirmed he wanted to “bring in three attacking players,” and is still insisting that “has not changed”, with Everton outsiders at 125/1 to win the Premier League.
A new contract for Ross Barkley, and acquisitions of World Cup star Muhamed Besic, Gareth Barry and Lukaku are a solid start, but, taking his words into account, Coral writers contemplate who else Martinez may be able to lure to Merseyside.
With Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar as Everton’s main options on the flanks, Martinez should be looking to increase his quota and quality of wingmen.
AIK and Sweden star Bahoui, has been tipped as a top target for the Toffees, with the Blues boss set to battle with St-Etienne, Southampton and Stoke City for the tricky attacker.
Moroccan-born Bahoui, 23, has two caps for his adopted country and scored nine goals for his domestic club last campaign, indicating he could provide a significant threat for Everton from out wide.
It would be a significant step-up for Bahoui, but with Mirallas and Pienaar netting nine times between last term, he may be worth a gamble.
Croatian World Cup poacher Perisic would be a transfer coup almost as significant for Everton as their Lukaku swoop. The current Wolfsburg winger has apparently attracted interest from a number of elite European clubs, including Italian giants Juventus and Arsenal.
If Everton were to emerge victorious in the battle for his services it would be a huge boost to their top four credentials. Versatile Perisic, who netted 10 league goals last term, could also provide cover in the second striker and attacking midfield positions, but any move could be put on hold until the 25-year-old has recovered from a shoulder injury.
Martinez could yet do more transfer business with Chelsea, as rumours gather pace of an impending loan move for 22-year-old World Cup winger Atsu.
The Ghana international, who impressed in Brazil with his pace and skill, would likely on be a fringe player at Stamford Bridge this season, with a temporary stint at a Premier League club the most ideal solution.
Atsu signed from Porto for a reported fee of £3.5m in 2013, and went on to rack up six goals for feeder club Vitesse Arnhem. This move would allow Martinez to test and assess the youngster, just as he did with Lukaku, ahead of any permanent move.
With his Catalan connections, Martinez may be able to convince another Barcelona starlet to temporarily join his Everton revolution.
Loan moves have served the Blues boss well so far, and he is set return to Spain to snap up another young star from the Nou Camp.
Last term saw forward Gerard Deulofeu impress for the Toffees, apparently increasing goodwill between the two sides, and this season the Blues have been linked with a swoop for La Masia starlet Adama Traore.
The talented young right winger, 18, has so far made two first team appearances for Barca, enjoying his La Liga debut at just 17 against Granada, and could soon find himself under Martinez’s wing.
Martinez has long been linked with luring Rodwell back to Goodison Park, after the dynamic yet injury-prone midfielder moved to Manchester City in 2012.
Rodwell only made 10 outings last term and needs a move to revive his career. A switch back to familiar surroundings, where he still seems to be valued, could be ideal, even in light of the Blues’ acquisition of Besivic.
With Europa League football on the horizon, Martinez will be looking to add strength in depth, and a move for his former charge Tom Cleverley appears to have gone cold, leaving Rodwell in pole position once more.