From The Boy Wonder To The Batsman?

Everton urgently require another striker and Michy Batshuayi is a very interesting option whom Brands and Silva should consider making their transfer main target for the summer.

Wayne Rooney has finally left Everton to complete his move to MLS and in doing so has hopefully taken the last of the over-sentimentality that has held the club back for years with him. Rooney’s sole season back at his boyhood club ended with 11 goals in 40 appearances to finish as the leading goalscorer for the year. Whilst few are mourning his second departure the concern that the squad simply doesn’t have enough goals in it is now more evident than ever. Supporters are right to wonder what the strategy is going forward and to be hoping that serious transfer business will start soon.

Cenk Tosun had his fair share of bright moments in his first few months in England and hopes will be high than he can kick on now to become one of the Premier League’s most reliable goal scorers. However, he also can’t be expected to carry the load alone as the team’s only established traditional number nine . Almost all strikers will get injured at some point, or will need a rest, suffer a dip in form and be marked out of games by a well-prepared opposition. Everton failed miserably to land a focal point attacker last summer and they simply can’t allow that to happen again. A new centre-forward must be in the door well before the transfer window slams shut or we can most likely expect another season of nothing but mediocrity at best and misery at worst.

Michy Batshuayi, the forgotten man it seems at Chelsea, is one that should be arousing the interest of a certain Misters Brands and Silva. The Belgian is currently at the World Cup and, when he’s not busy kicking the ball against the post and back onto his own face, he’s actually enjoying quite a good tournament so far. Leading the line against England in a much changed side he more than adequately acquitted himself, proving a nuisance for the Three Lions’ backline all game long and showing a great attitude to chase down and challenge for everything.

Batshuayi, much like his compatriot Romelu Lukaku, originally broke through and established himself as goal machine in their home country at an early age which attracted plenty of attention from Europe’s leading clubs. Chelsea, where so many young players sadly see their early promise squashed and their careers stutter, is the club the ex-Standard Liege man choose over plenty of other options. Since rocking up at Stamford Bridge though he has seen chances to prove himself come rarely. Why Antonio Conte gave precious few opportunities to the player whom he signed first upon becoming manager is a mystery to most, especially considering Diego Costa’s trouble-making and Alvaro Morata’s struggles.

In his debut season in the Premier League Batshuayi, who was fit for practically the entire campaign, was handed only 20 first-team league appearances which all together totalled 235 minutes. That’s less than 3 full games, for a player they spent a reported £33m on no less. Surely that wasn’t the role he was promised upon arriving in West London? He still managed to score 5 goals, including the one that sealed the league title, but it will still have been classed a very disappointing season from a personal point of view for the player.

It didn’t get much better in the first half of last season either, from August to end of January he was given 353 league minutes and scored only twice, though he did manage half a dozen more in the European and cups competitions. Upon being loaned out to Borussia Dortmund, which is hardly a massive step downwards, Batshuayi was finally given the opportunities he craved and repaid the Bundesliga giants with 9 goals across 13 appearances.

What’s also worth mentioning is the fact that in 18 caps for his country he has scored 8 goals, including one at this World Cup and one in the European Championships two years ago. An impressive return considering whom he has in front of him for a regular starting berth. He is very much established as the man the Red Devils turn too when Lukaku is unavailable or is being rested,. The likes of Christian Benteke and Divock Origi don’t get so much as a sniff of an international call up nowadays with him around.

The facts are there in black and white. The Batsman, as he jokingly refers to himself, clearly has ability and a goal scoring touch. If allowed to find his groove he’ll hit the back of the net fairly regularly for the team he plays for, all that is required is just a bit of patience and some encouragement. The main thing that sets him apart from our former Belgian hitman is that Batshuayi is clearly a workhorse. He’s willing to drop deep to link up the play or move out wide, is unselfish on the ball and isn’t the type to sulk or open his mouth to the media when he’s frustrated with things. That was another thing that constantly miffed Evertonians about our former no.10, we definitely don’t want to have to put up with the likes of that again.

Who knows if he’d even consider a move to the blue half of Merseyside? Dortmund are reportedly very keen on signing him permanently, many other big clubs will likely have their eyes on his situation and, most notably, Chelsea will no doubt want a good profit on their initial investment so any deal would be very expensive. However, it’s a move I feel the club’s hierarchy should definitely at least try to explore when you consider how bonafide goalscorers are hard to find and unwanted ones are even harder.

Everton desperately need to add firepower to a squad that was so often not good enough in the final third last season. A striker with age on his side, a point to prove and a good personality could be exactly what we need to get the team’s goals flowing again. Chelsea’s discarded Belgian is pretty much begging to be rescued and allowed to flourish in more favourable environment. Everton supporters love a player whom always gives his all and is infectious to all those around him, therefore I have no doubt he would be a big success here if he could be landed. Let’s wait and see but I for one am crossing all my fingers.

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