In Part 1, we talked about how Everton couldn't really afford buying Lukaku because we really need depth in order to compete in Europa and still stay relevant in the Premier League. We do have some decent depth in the midfield positions, but there is a sudden drop in quality in some areas and striker depth is atrocious. We went through some younger players that Everton could purchase for much lower fees.
In this article, we will be going over some older, more established players. These players carry their own risk. The youth players of Part 1 may have risk associated with not being able to perform in better leagues, not progressing quick enough, or not living up to expectations. These experienced players, though, have a shorter shelf lives and might not be able to maintain form in a different atmosphere. Also, strikers tend to be the most inflated players when they are performing. So the older players may be worth a much higher amount even though they may be closer to retirement.
For the sake of realism, we'll look at players mainly 23 - 28 years old. I don't see Everton spending too much on an older player (Arouna Kone taught us a lesson).
Centre Forwards (valuations source: http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/en/default/marktwerte/basics.html):
- Christian Benteke (Aston Villa - £16 million) - He is injured until at least the beginning of next season, but he has performed quite well in the Premier League almost scoring a goal every two matches. It's always a risk buying a player after an injury and I'm not convinced Aston Villa are willing to sell him either. He is very similar to Lukaku in that he is strong and physical striker, something Everton value.
- Danny Welbeck (Manchester United - £15 million) - Man U are in disarray and may be getting rid of a bunch of players so we may be able to see Welbeck for even cheaper than this. Problem with Welbeck is he has the skills to be great but he disappears too often. Everton have already had too many strikers like that to frustrate fans over the years.
- Chicharito (Manchester United - £14 million) - Another high valuation. He will probably go for less than this and could be a value but it is to be seen whether he can be the star striker for a club.
- Wilfried Bony (Swansea City - £13 million) - Bony has been in terrific form this year and that means it may be harder to pry him away from Swansea. He still has 3 years on his contract and Swansea paid £12 million for him so I don't see how they will give him up for only £13 million. If Swansea does sell for around this price, he will be one of the best value for money.
- Ciro Immobile (Torino - £10.5 million) - I don't see him coming to the Premier Leauge, nor do I see this being a reasonable fee for Torino (and Juventus since they own half his rights) to accept. Plus, he wants to go to Dortmund. We can dream though.
- Loic Remy (QPR loaned to Newcastle - £10.5 million) - This would be another great value buy for Everton. He is one of the older players listed here at 27 but he has the skills to and has performed in the Premier League consistently. If QPR get promoted back up to the Premier League, I don't see them selling him.
- Demba Ba (Chelsea - £9.7 million) - I don't even know how I feel about Ba. He should be good but he is as inconsistent as they come. If we go for multiple players, this would probably be a good gamble at the price.
As you can see, we can get players that have performed up to the level of Lukaku but still have a lot of left over money to buy several other players, maybe even more strikers. We could even buy two players from this list for the price of Lukaku.
The value for Lukaku just might not be there and whether it is some youth strikers or some more established strikers, we should be prepared to see some new exciting faces joining the club in the summer.