Forget Batshuayi: Thelwell made a big D-Day blunder at Everton on £76k-p/w “machine” – opinion

Everton attempted to sign veteran AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud on transfer deadline day, but failed to clinch the signature of a man who would’ve made a major impact on the struggling outfit’s fortunes…

What’s the word?

In what was one of the most frenetic, tumultuous January deadline days from any Premier League outfit in history, the Toffees remarkably plunged into the deep dark depths of the transfer pool and emerged empty-handed, leaving the club in grave danger after selling Anthony Gordon to Newcastle United for £45m.

And according to Italian outlet CalcioMercato, Milan’s Giroud was offered a lucrative £3m wage package to join the fray at Goodison Park and spearhead the fight against relegation.

Despite the Toffees’ desperation in their pursuit, offering a wealth of further exorbitant bonuses if the player was to agree a deal, the Frenchman swiftly rejected the advances, leaving Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, and technical director Kevin Thelwell, to sit and pensively ponder where it all went wrong.

Forget Batshuayi…

Everton’s strife has been laid bare this season, with the results on the pitch leaving the club in the relegation zone and the schism between the owners and the fanbase threatening to boil tensions over the side in an incensed flurry of despair.

Indeed, the January transfer window represented a glistening opportunity for the Merseyside outfit’s hierarchy to demonstrate their aptitude and willingness to conjure greener pastures, steering this proud football club away from the danger zone.

But with the lackadaisical approach last month now compounding the perilous position that new manager Sean Dyche finds himself in, the inability to clinch a new talismanic force could prove to be the club’s unravelling and the conclusive push to spiral a perennial Premier League outfit into the depths of the Championship.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Neal Maupay – Everton’s two recognised centre-forwards – having scored one solitary goal apiece this season, the paramount importance of further firepower is even more bewildering and disconcerting for the Blues’ fanbase, with someone of the 36-year-old Giroud’s ilk.

The World Cup and Champions League winner has amassed 90 goals and 32 assists in the Premier League for Arsenal and Chelsea, and has more recently won the Italian Serie A with AC Milan, also the frontal focal point in France’s near-successful defence of their world title, and still boasts the acumen and the ability to flourish on the major stage.

While Everton also pushed for the transfer of Michy Batshuayi, who has 15 goals in 22 appearances in Turkey this season, the experienced and accomplished Giroud could’ve been the key cog to whir Dyche’s unit into life.

This “machine“, as dubbed by reporter Saddick Adams, has scored ten goals and served six assists from just 21 starts for his Italian outfit this season,  and still ranks among the top 10% for total shots, 12% for rate of assists, 7% for touches in the attacking box and 11% for aerials won when compared to forwards across Europe’s big five leagues.

Thus, he evidently possesses the formidable aura that a traditional centre-forward requires to flourish.

Despite the £76k-per-week veteran talisman firmly within the twilight phase of his professional career, his experience and imposing stature as a centre-forward would undoubtedly be an invaluable asset for this floundering Everton team; Giroud would be that ‘machine’ to roar Goodison Park into life.


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