The striker swap that could transform Everton
The Toffees failed to replace Romelu Lukaku's goals last summer. A move for Moise Kean was supposed to be the answer to their problems, but that has seemlingly failed.
The summer of 2017 saw Manchester United sign Romelu Lukaku from Everton for a fee of £76m. Now, he could be replaced with another Italian in Andrea Belotti. However, who is the better front man?
Off the pitch
Kean has hardly been the model pro since arriving in England with his punctuality – or lack of it – causing him to be dropped by then Everton manager Marco Silva back in November. More recently though he's been the subject of positive noise off the field after he was seen to be doing his bit to support the community in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Well, at least the headlines were alright; it was all quickly forgotten though with the anti-coronavirus house party he hosted.
Meanwhile, Torino forward Belotti spent his childhood as a church goer and stayed home whilst his friends partied such was – and still is – his desire to make it to the very top. Ask his teammates and they’ll tell you that he’s a role model on and off pitch, which is perhaps not the answer you’d get from the Everton squad re. Kean.
Styles of play
Kean relies heavily on his pace when it comes to creating opportunities and he can be a real handful on his day. He’s always looking to latch onto through balls but is equally happy to carry the ball at full tilt with the ambition of committing defenders. He’s a tidy finisher too and a rough ratio of a goal every 90 minutes in 2018/19 for Juventus proves that he can find the net.
Unfortunately, though, Everton fans demand more than that and Kean's failure to contribute on the defensive side – whether through hold up play or hassling – didn’t go unnoticed. Mind you, he hardly managed contribute much in the attacking sense either with just a solitary goal and two assists in 27 appearances a poor return even if most minutes were off the bench.
Belotti couldn’t be more different from Kean. He’s not the biggest at just 5’11 but his play with his back to goal is exceptionally strong and he’s always looking to bring others into the game. He’s powerful like a horse competing in the odds of the Kentucky Derby, decent in the air, will chase lost causes and most importantly he guarantees you a goal return.
He joined Torino prior to the 2015/16 campaign for £7.5m. Since then he’s notched 85 goals in 179 games – form that has seen him earn an international call up for Italy, for whom he’s scored nine in 27.
What the summer window holds
Rumours suggested that Kean’s future on Merseyside was in the balance anyway after a lacklustre first season but his blatant disregard for Covid-19 lockdown rules has angered the Blues hierarchy. His departure now seems inevitable with Napoli, who are losing Dries Mertens on a free, a possible destination although Everton will do well to recoup the £25m they paid for him last year.
Belotti has a release clause in his contract but even with that he will cost a significant amount more than Everton’s previous record fee - £44m for Gylfi Sigurdsson – at £87m. They’ll need to cough up a hefty amount on wages too because if Manchester United’s interest is legitimate they’ll have to defy the odds to land their man.
Then again, if the Carlo Ancelotti revolution is to be realised then a strike partner for Dominic Calvert-Lewin needs to be high up the priority list and Belotti is as good as they can realistically expect to attract.