Everton MUST sign targetman in January, says Ronald Koeman

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Ronald Koeman insists Everton must sign a targetman in January in order to give them “options”.

Koeman was explaining that the way the Blues started against Apollon Limassol on Thursday night set the tone for a confidence-starved performance.

And the Everton boss admits that if they still had Romelu Lukaku then maybe they would not suffer with early jitters.

Yet Koeman maintains that the failure to land a replacement for the Belgium this summer is not the “main issue” behind their current form.

Asked how he can stop Everton being “afraid” he said: “I think it is coming out of making mistakes at the beginning of the game. They don’t have enough options.

“They try to keep the ball, they run with the ball….you need to make it simple. Play the long ball and run and press.

“Sometimes we make it so difficult for ourselves. With confidence we don’t make mistakes in our ball possession.

“The first goal? It is a ball from Schneiderlin to Holgate. Control the ball, he is dribbling, dribbling; the striker of Apollon is pressing the ball and the ball goes out for a throw in.

“That….that’s the way we start the game! That makes the opponent even more confident! That is what happened to a young player. It is weak. Weak in that type of confidence. That is football but it is normal. Normal.”

So are Everton missing Lukaku as an outlet as much as a goal-scorer?

“Yeah”, Koeman said.

Jagielka challenges Lukaku

“That is possible if you don’t have a target man in front, maybe you play more short. That was the message to the players. Sometimes we make it so difficult for ourselves. If you lose the ball in that way it is no problem. But we lost it around our box and then that led to the first goal for Apollon.”

Everton were confident they were close to securing the signing of No1 choice Olivier Giroud this summer before the Arsenal striker had a change of heart.

Speaking about the Blues chase for new centre-forward, Koeman said: “We were unlucky in that. And you need to believe that you don’t get everyone as a striker in.”

Olivier Giroud of Arsenal
Olivier Giroud of Arsenal

Before adding: “No, you make that the main issue. When we sold Lukaku I didn’t think at that time we would get a striker in who would score at least 25 goals because maybe it is impossible to find that striker.

“If I can sign Messi I will sign Messi. Or I will sign Alexis Sanchez or I will sign Ronaldo. Yeah.

“You cannot always sign somebody to replace Lukaku.

“What I expected was to get more goals from other players around the striker and we have now three strikers. Niasse is the third and we have Dominic and Ramirez. Totally different types.

“That was the reason we needed a target man because that gives options for the team and finally we did not find a good target.”

Asked if Everton therefore have to find a targetman in the winter window, he replied: “For me, yes.”

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