Nikica Jelavic arrived at Goodison in the January transfer window of 2012 and immediately made a name for himself, bagging a hatful of goals and terrorising Premier League defences. He was the darling of the Gwladys Street, with fans singing his name with luster as Everton made their way to Wembley, only to fall agonisingly short against Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi Final.
However, the dream move, which appeared to suit both parties, turned sour last season. With the Croatian international struggling for goals he found himself out of the team as his confidence nose-dived. David Moyes certainly decided that the former Rangers man was no longer needed at Everton and made Victor Anichebe his first choice centre forward.
This summer, Jelavic was strongly linked to a move to German side Hamburg. The fallen giants of German football were certainly keen, with influential figures at the Bundesliga side openly speaking to the press of their interest. Everton and new manager Roberto Martinez were not keen to sell and placed a price on Jelavic’s head that put him firmly out of reach of Hamburg.
General Manager Oliver Kreuzer spoke to Bild to confirm that the Blues had put Jelavic out of reach.
“It is still a fact we first have to sell a couple of players before we can dig into buying any new,”
“And as far as I am concerned we will be unable to finance a deal with Everton FC for him [Jelavic].”
The reaction amongst supporters to the potential sale of Everton’s number 7 was certainly not unanimous, although it is fair to say the vast majority wanted the Croatian to stay at Goodison Park.
That faith appeared to be well placed, especially when Jelavic enjoyed an electric pre-season campaign, bagging goals against Blackburn, Real Madrid and Real Betis. His form was so strong, that he held off the challenge of new signing Arouna Kone to start the season as Everton’s first choice striker. However, fast forward two months and Jelavic is consigned to the bench without a single goal to his name. He now looks further away from the first team than ever before, with Romelu Lukaku seizing the opportunity to become Martinez’ preferred starter in attack.
So what now for Jelavic? Has your view changed? Would you consider selling the Croatian in the January window, or will Everton need him when Lukaku returns to Chelsea in the summer?