Martinez’s arrival can help Jelavic recapture former glories
What turned out to be David Moyes’ final season at Everton was also one of the Merseyside club’s most consistent of recent years, but for one exception.
The Croatian forward Nikica Jelavic, who initially burst onto the scene following his arrival from Rangers in January 2012, cut a strangely subdued figure as the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Kevin Mirallas and Steven Pienaar all impressed around him.
Gone was the player who became the quickest in 100 years to reach 10 goals for Everton less than a year previously, as the forward’s once trademark touch and finishing ability deserted him.
Yet the arrival of new boss Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park can see that player return for the Blues, who are 11/5 to follow up last season’s top six finish by achieving the same feat this time around.
Jelavic scored two goals in Everton’s 3-1 pre-season victory at Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, and although that doesn’t necessarily prove much it does indicate that he’s at least on the right track.
Martinez has moved to bring in forward Arouna Kone following the pair’s union at FA Cup winners Wigan last season, but there is nothing to suggest that the Ivory Coast international can’t dovetail successfully with Jelavic, as Pienaar and Mirallas operate on either side.
This approach would suggest that the discrepancy between Kone and Jelavic’s top Everton goalscorer odds shouldn’t be as wide as it is.
At 7/4 Kone – a player who scored just two goals in 47 games during his Sevilla career – looks on the short side, with the 7/2 on offer for Jelavic likely to tempt many.
That is if he can show signs of a return to form of course, but in this Everton side he’s likely to be given enough chances to do just that.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication