Speaking after the Merseyside Derby loss that leaves the Premier League as the only battleground for Everton to continue fighting on, manager Sam Allardyce can’t wait to get new signing Cenk Tosun on the pitch.
The Blues have three games left in this month - an away clash at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, followed by two home games against West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City. The game against the Foxes is midweek and three days later is a trip to Arsenal.
“I hope Cenk’s part can be played instantly. But he might need some time to settle in. I am not heaping pressure on him, I am just hoping he can deliver straightaway – but if he cannot we will have to be patient.
“He is an all-rounder, with good movement. He is two-footed, not the biggest but efficient in the air and in the box. He gets good space to get his head on the ball.
”We will try to break him in gently – but I do not think you can break anyone in gently in January. It is a case of get in, get your sleeves rolled up and get on with it!”
The Blues need Tosun to get settled and performing as quickly as possible - Everton have been utterly dire when away to top six clubs over the last few years, with just the one away win in over six years. West Brom are sitting in the relegation zone and should be disposed of handily but the Blues struggled at the Hawthorns recently, and were lucky to come away with a goalless draw.
The key clash here will be the game against Leicester, which will be a six-pointer in terms of Everton’s hopes of climbing up the table. The Blues are currently in ninth while the Foxes are in eighth, just three points ahead.
Speaking immediately after the signing of Tosun, Allardyce had said -
“This lad looks like he is strong mentally and has a good pedigree. He is Turkey’s No.1 striker and has scored goals in the Champions League and the Turkish League but he is desperate to play here in the Premier League.
“He is an all-rounder, with good movement. He is two-footed, perhaps not the biggest but he’s very efficient in the air and in the box he gets good space to get his head on the ball.
“We looked at the qualities of the player, his talent and goalscoring, and his resilience, too. I do not think you can look any more than we have done and, for the price, he is the best in Europe at the moment.”