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Cenk Tosun not exactly the missing piece in Everton's attack

Thursday 11th January 2018

After around six months of extreme hardship, toil and agony, Everton can claim to have a striker-in-waiting capable of filling the huge void left by Romelu Lukaku. Cenk Tosun is the man saddled with that truckload task. But in reality, can the Turkish forward actually erase the eternal shadow cast by the Belgian's departure to Manchester United?

Up until Tosun showed up, Everton has tried but failed in their quest to replace Lukaku. In four seasons at Goodison, the 24-year-old proved himself a productive, out-and-out number nine. An impeccable 68 Premier League goals in that period all but extinguished his doubters. That's an impressive average of 17 strikes per season.

So it's no much surprise the goals have suddenly withered this term. Everton has managed just 25 strikes thus far - exactly the same number Lukaku alone racked up last season. Only Burnley (19)  among the top 10 sides have endured worst patch in front of goal. Such appalling return all but depicts the club's woes this season.

Much of the goalscoring burden, however, has befallen Wayne Rooney, who has taken up the task with aplomb. Aside from his 10 goals, he's by far been the engine room of the team with another seven assists. Sandro Ramirez hasn't been anywhere up to scratch since moving from Spain. Young Dominic Calvert-Lewin's progress has had to be forcibly hurried. While Niasse Oumar has helped out a couple of times.

Hence, there was literally always going to be a monster waiting to pounce on any new face who comes to town. Sadly, it is Tosun.

Take nothing away from the 26-year-old who flaunts a pretty cogent resume. At struggling Gaziantepspor, he notched 39 strikes in a little above 100 games. He proved to be a more potent finisher at Besiktas, though. There he managed to find the net once in almost every two games.

But his exploits in the Champions League may have been the key factor in the deal. As well as netting eight times in 16 Super Lig appears this term, Tosun found the net four times in Europe helping Besiktas reach the last 16 at the expense of the more-fancied RB Leipzig and AS Monaco.

Nonetheless, the Turkish star may not exactly be the messiah he's been portrayed as. For all his goalscoring prowess, Tosun is not particularly great outside the box. Very much a penalty box finisher, all of his 20 strikes in the league last season came from inside 18 yards. In fact, all 41 goals he netted for Besiktas came from inside the box, including the eight he has already notched in the current campaign. That may not be too good particularly against teams defending very deep.

That's not all, though. Tosun isn't the quickest player around. Coming to a country where pace is an essential commodity for marksmen, the 26-year-old may likely strive to keep up with the tempo. And despite his colossal physique, Tosun is easily bullied around by defenders. Under Allardyce, noted for long goals, he could cut a lonely figure, forced to chase after long balls.

Tosun will definitely provide some outstanding moments for Everton but replacing Lukaku? That may be too much to ask from the Turk.  

Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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