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Everton's Nikica Jelavic: Natural goalscorer since day one

Ali Babakarkhil takes a look at Everton's number one striker.

Goals win you games. Football is as simple as that and Everton striker Nikica Jelavic is a goal scorer and a consistent one at that.

From a young boy growing up in rural Yugoslavia, Jelavic was known for doing what he now does best for a living: putting the ball in the back of the net.

Born and raised in the city of ńĆapljina, Jelavic took to football at a young age and joined his local team, GOŠK Gabela at the age of 14.

He told the Liverpool Echo he scored twice on his debut although not remembering how he scored them, so it was clear that goal scoring seemed to be a natural trait for Jelavic and he hasn’t let up ever since.

His professional debut came at the age of 17 for Hajduk Split scoring 10 goals in 42 appearances. He later moved to Belgian side Zulte Waregam - now the club of Chelsea loanee Thorgan Hazard - in 2006 before signing for Austria’s champions Rapid Vienna in 2008.

The goalscoring continued with 43 goals in 95 appearances and Jelavic’s impressive form didn’t go unnoticed; Rangers FC came in swiftly and signed the Croatian on a £4million deal.

His prolific form evolved as a Rangers player and his ability as a goal scorer improved thus impressing many people among the football world.

Both Rangers and Jelavic enjoyed a run of good form as Jelavic scored 36 in 55 games and Rangers winning the Scottish Premier league and Scottish League Cup in 2011.

Jelavic was destined for the big leagues and after a successful run with Rangers; rising club Everton came in and swooped for the Croatian.

His impact was immediate and he scored the winning goal in his first start against Tottenham. His influence as a striker and a fantastic team player propelled Everton to a 7th placed finish and so far this season his effect has been tremendous.

With already 5 goals and Everton sitting in 5th place in the Premier League, the potential for both Jelavic and Everton is sky high and Everton fans can expect great things from both the Croatian and the Merseyside club for the future.

How crucial is Jelavic to Everton? Can he get close to 20 goals this season?

image: © fabiopao

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