Koita another option as Everton search for firepower continues

Sekou Koita is a free agent after his current contract at Red Bull Salzburg expired and could represent a good option to boost Blues goal-scoring threat.
FC Red Bull Salzburg v LASK - Admiral Bundesliga
FC Red Bull Salzburg v LASK - Admiral Bundesliga / Hans Peter Lottermoser/GettyImages

As we all know only to well, Everton struggled badly in front of goal last season managing a paltry forty strikes in the Premier League, second worst behind only relegated bottom club Sheffield United.

During one particularly awful spell of win-less matches from the 19th of December until a two-nil win over Burnley on the 6th of April this year, the Toffees only scored nine goals in total.

That sort of thing is relegation form and if it had not been for four straight crucial victories in early December, Everton would almost certainly have gone down.

Of course, the hugely controversial PSR points deductions were a big factor in putting the Blues in a hole again, but in future that sort of goal-scoring drought could prove catastrophic next season regardless of anything else.

The team's leading scorer was Dominic Cavlert-Lewin with a mere eight goals and he failed to find the net at all between a winner at West Ham in late October and the equaliser at Newcastle United on 2nd of April. For all his qualities this is hardly prolific stuff.

Calvert-Lewin's future also seems very uncertain now with the 27-year-old having been offered a new deal as his current contract runs out next summer.

However, so far he has not put pen-to-paper on that new deal and so the Blues are in a quandry; do they hold on and hope he will while also risk him leaving for nothing if not, or cut their losses and sell in this summer's transfer window?

There are other Premeir League clubs interested in him and indeed have been for several years now since he first broke into the England team in 2021.

Newcastle United looked most keen to do a deal for the striker just recently, but while at first that appeared to be moving along in a positive direction, it suddenly stopped as the Magpies interest seemed to cool.

That may change again at some point in the near future, but if not the Toffees still have to consider what to do.

Other clubs might be tempted, and I think that Everton cannot take the chance Calvert-Lewin decides not to sign again and then leaves on a free next year.

At the moment he should still fetch around £25-30 million on the transfer market so cashing in now appears to be the best strategy.

If he does eventually go the Blues will obviously need a replacement centre-forward.

Everton have signed Iliman Ndiaye and the 24-year-old forward can play wide behind the centre-forward or up front.

Iliman could move into Calvert-Lewin's position and play up top as a main striker, a role he does seem perfectly well-suited to doing.

But, I think he has been signed by Sean Dyche to play behind the main centre-forward rather than leading the line himself.

That would allow Abdoulaye Doucoure - who has usually played that role in Dyche's favoured 4-5-1 formation - to drop back into a more orthodox midfield position.

This would potentially help solve the problem of what to do if the Toffees were to lose another player as defensive midfielder Amadou Onana will almost certainly be sold this summer.

So, if Ndiaye is to play behind the main striker and Calvert-Lewin leaves, then clearly someone else will have to step into that position.

Looking at the other centre-forward alternatives in the squad does not fill me with a great deal of confidence.

Beto signed last summer, has failed to prove he can score goals in the Premier League, although he does offer a real physical presence up top and that may work with Ndiaye playing off him.

Otherwise there is only Yossef Chermiti who is raw and young and could not realistically be asked to take Calvert-Lewin's spot.

Therefore, it will probably require Everton to go and bring in another centre-forward and a number of potential options are out there.

One of them could be a free agent Sekou Koita who has been playing in the Austrian Bundesliga and is now available without a transfer fee.

Koita offers a decent goal-threat, at least on paper, as he netted four times in six appearances although of course that was playing at a level below the Premier League's standard.