Everton go into the season without a replacement for Romelu Lukaku after failing to land Mexican international Raul Jimenez from Benfica.
Everton’s big-money summer supposedly signalled a major statement of intent from an increasingly ambitious club with genuine hopes of gate-crashing the elite top-six party.
However, despite a number of hugely promising signings, the club’s failure to land a striker capable of replicating the power, presence or sheer ability of Romelu Lukaku may prove to be the difference between the Toffees finishing sixth or seventh this season.
Although it was not for the want of trying. Portuguese publication A Bola reports that Everton made a move to land Benfica striker Raul Jimenez on loan as the hours ticked by on transfer deadline day. The report adds that the Toffees were willing to pay around £2.7 million to sign the Mexican international on a temporary basis.
And, given that Everton reportedly made their interest known so late in the window, it is difficult to dispel the notion that panic had set in at Goodison Park.
Everton had been linked with Jimenez all summer as it became apparent that Benfica would sell for the right price. However, that ‘right price’ appeared to be around the £45 million mark, according to the International Business Times.
Therefore, it was no real surprise that they did not make Jimenez a priority. Yet, the fact that they reportedly made a move on deadline day, while attempting to save themselves a substantial cash outlay, suggests they weren’t exactly convinced that Jimenez could make the grade at Goodison.
His scoring record at Benfica leaves a lot to be desired after all, while he has often be used as a back-up option at the Estadio da Luz. Furthermore, in 27 games for Atletico Madrid in 2014/15, Jimenez scored just one goal.