Everton’s goal-scoring problem could finally be solved if Toffees target lethal £17m striker in January
The Toffees have been linked with a move for a quality Bundesliga striker.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Everton are a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, scented by the faint waft of unpredictability and perpetual frustration. To look back over the Toffees’ results since the beginning of September would be to see a side who, to all intents and purposes, appear to have turned a corner. A couple of wins in the Premier League have been supplemented by improved displays against the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, and they no longer move with the gait of a surefire relegation candidate. But then they’ll go and spoil it all by doing something patently daft like losing to Luton Town - the Premier League’s very own equivalent to a punctured dinghy - and you begin to wonder if Sean Dyche’s men have come so far after all.
Part of the apparent progress made by Everton in recent weeks has hinged on an upswing in fortunes for centre forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has registered three goals in his last five outings, including recent strikes in victories over Brentford and Aston Villa. But trouble may be brewing where the devilishly handsome striker is concerned.
According to Football Insider, a sandstorm blows in from the Middle East as Steven Gerrard and his Saudi Pro League also-rans Al-Ettifaq plot to snatch DCL away from Goodison Park. Perhaps if he, like Jordan Henderson, has a burning desire to abandon his morals and play in front crowds befitting the eighth tier of English football then he might be tempted to go.
And that would be a serious blow to the Toffees, who are well-versed in just how difficult it can be to wriggle free of the relegation tractor beam without a serviceable forward leading the line. Goals - say it with me, folks - win games, and Dyche’s side are only just scraping by in that regard as is. Granted, they have the hulking Beto to call upon, and at some point you would imagine that teenage prospect Youssef Chermiti might actually get a proper look in, but in terms of a consistent goal threat, Everton would surely need reinforcements if Calvert-Lewin goes. Hell, they might even need them if he stays.
Which brings us to Maximilian Beier. The 21-year-old has been carving up the Bundesliga this season, and has already registered six goals in eight league outings for European hopeful Hoffenheim. Unsurprisingly, that kind of form is attracting attention from some quarters, and among those keeping a beady eye on him are Everton.
According to German outlet Bild, the Toffees are monitoring Beier’s progress closely, and may even be willing to meet the £17 million release clause which is written into his contract in Baden-Württemberg. After two solid years on loan with Hannover 96, the striker has returned to his parent club looking positively electric, and there are even suggestions that he could be on the brink of a senior Germany call-up under new manager Julian Nagelsmann. In short, the boy is a talent.
Generally partnered with future Manchester United hall of famer Wout Weghourst this season, Beier has averaged 2.1 shots per game, as per Whoscored - a tally that eclipses everybody in Everton’s squad except the aforementioned Beto. Similarly, his average match rating of 7.16 is more auspicious than anybody in Dyche’s contingent, and considerably better than any other striker the Toffees currently have at their disposal.
Of course, players of that ilk are not prised away from clubs easily. It is understood that Brentford are also interested in Beier, and that Hoffenheim themselves may also look to hand him a contract extension in a bid to bump up the requisite fee needed to trigger his departure.
Whether either of those factors will be enough to derail Everton remains to be seen, but for a team in their position, who could also potentially be about to face a real battle over the future of their star striker, Beier is absolutely a player worthy of pursuit.