Long-term problem comes back to haunt Everton

Everton boss Marco Silva has backed Richarlison to improve further after his double in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Wolves.

Why have Everton never found a striking replacement for Romelu Lukaku? That should be the question all Blues fans should be asking right now.

The Belgian international left Goodison Park for Manchester United in July 2017 and 27 months later, Everton are still trying to find the solution to their goalscoring problems – which has led to them now sitting in the Premier League relegation zone.

Marco Silva’s squad have scored just six goals so far in eight league games – that’s the third-worst in the league, behind only bottom-club Watford and Newcastle.

Instead of spending big money on a long-term proven goalscorer, Everton have always seemed intent on finding a cheaper option and that has led to continuing problems in front of goal.

Omar Niasse, Cenk Tosun, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Sandro Ramirez, Moise Kean and even the returning Wayne Rooney, have tried and failed to fill the breach.

The most successful to date has been Richarlison, who bagged 13 goals in his debut season with the Blues in what was originally a makeshift role through the middle for the Brazilian.

But it appears Silva didn’t want to rely on a 22-year-old to keep delivering in what is not his natural position – the manager’s hand might be forced, though, if results continue to go against his team.

It’s certainly too early to write off summer signing Kean, who is only 19, but his lack of starts suggests he has not been doing enough in training to show Silva he is worth gambling on at this stage.

What will be incredibly frustrating for Everton fans will be that they might lose another manager before the situation is resolved. But, the issue they will face in January is that everyone will know that they need a striker and the prices will be pushed up further.

So who could offer the goals the Toffees need, firstly to drag them away from the relegation battle and then take them to the next step – let’s not forget the owner has a vision of title challenges in the not too distant future.

The Premier League Option – Callum Wilson

There will come a point soon that the England international will want to his career to go to the next level and he may see a move to Goodison providing him with the chance to do that.

Wilson, who is 27, has 58 Premier League goals to his name and bagged twice against Everton at the Vitality Stadium in September. His work rate is impressive and is the type of direct threat the Blues really need.

The Lower League Option – Jarrod Bowen

At the age of just 22, Hull’s Bowen has already caught the eye of a number of Premier League clubs and looks like he will be playing in the top flight next season.

Having come through non-league, the former Hereford man has made a big impact in a short space of time and scored 22 goals in a poor team last season. He hardly looks like a one-season wonder either, having already netted four in 11 this term.

Overseas Option – Duvan Zapata

The Colombia international seems to get better with age and at 28, still has a number of good years ahead of him.

Zapata had brief spells with Napoli, Udinese and Sampdoria before joining Atalanta in 2018 – scoring 23 goals last term to help La Dea qualify for the Champions League.

The former Estudiantes player has already bagged six goals in seven Serie A appearances this season.