Everton look set to pip West Ham to the loan signing of Monaco centre forward Lacina Traore. The Ivorian had been set to join the Londoners battle against relegation, but a last minute change of heart has put Everton firmly at the front of the cue for his signature.
Traore has spent much of his career to date in Eastern Europe with spells in Romania and Russia. He recently signed for Monaco on a permanent deal but the team from the French Principality are looking to send him out on loan for the remainder of this season.
A loan signing would suit Martinez, with the Everton manager preferring to save his transfer kitty for the summer, when he plans to try and convince Romelu Lukaku to join the Blues on a permanent basis. Martinez has admitted the club will probably need to secure Champions League football to make that a reality and hopes Traore will help propel the club in that direction.
Traore is known in the game as a gentle giant and at 6ft 8 would be one of the tallest players in the Premier League. Despite his tall frame, Traore is not a typical target man and is much more comfortable with the ball on the ground than in the air. This fits perfectly with Martinez’ style of play.
His size (6’8”) makes him stand out from the crowd, but it doesn’t define him. He combines it with speed and improving technical skill to make him an intriguing prospect for clubs seeking a young striker. Bleacher Report
Due to his stature and ability with the ball the striker has drawn comparisons with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tottenham’s Adebayor (let’s hope he has more to offer than the former Arsenal man) and is a scorer of spectacular goals. At just 23 years old he has huge potential to progress and after a slow start to his international career he is beginning to force his way into the managers plans for the World Cup.
Due to his limited international experience there had been doubts over the likelihood of him receiving a work permit, but West Ham were successful in their appeal against the Home Office’s original decision. Everton will have to make their own application, but that would be successful now a precedent has been set.