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Allardyce refuses to name a No. 1 striker at Everton

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Manager has views on all three candidates

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-EVERTON Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images

With the January transfer window now closed, Everton will complete the season with three strikers on the books: Cenk Tosun, Dominica Calvert-Lewin and Oumar Niasse. No one candidate has edged ahead in the race to lead the line and fans are curious who will win the starting role.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference today ahead of the Blues’ trip to North London to take on Arsenal, manager Sam Allardyce was put on the spot regarding who he would says his starting striker should be.

“I wouldn’t.

“We don’t know too much about Cenk yet, he’s coming from abroad which is the hardest thing to do as a frontman – succeed in the Premier League and especially so in January.

“I think Dominic has been the most consistent performer, I don’t think there’s been any doubt about that since I’ve been here and from what people tell me about before I came.

“But it’s the goal-factor. Your goal-factor, if you are No.1 in that position, has to be in double figures. Even if you look at Arsenal now, Lacazette has only scored nine and Arsenal, with all due respect to us, will provide you with more chances than us.

“But he has struggled and that is what can happen in your first season in the Premier League.”

Everton’s three strikers’ stats compared
Squawka Comparison Matrix

On the topic of youngster Calvert-Lewin, he added -

“Dominic is a young man who will get better and better with experience and not too many players play that amount of games at his age up front.

“So if he improves his goal-scoring ratio ... because he’s certainly got the physical attributes, but he has got to improve his overall game technically and he’s got to find a way of finding more goals in the box when we get to that level.

“We have got to provide a better service for him to score those goals. But if you look at Oumar and Oumar’s minutes-per-goals, it’s exceptionally good. Sadly on Wednesday night he missed two very, very good chances. It could’ve been 2-0 and then after the kick-off it should’ve been 3-0 but he just over-hit that one.

“He could’ve had at least two goals in that game for us which would’ve been fantastic for us and him but the most important thing at the end of the day was we won, which we did.

“But he appears, at the moment, to be the best player to score goals for us at the moment.”

There are plenty of stats that can be massaged any way you like to show that one or the other is a better forward, but right now it might serve Allardyce best to take a ‘horses for courses’ approach with his three strikers, at least until one of them emerges head and shoulder ahead of the pack.