Cardiff boss could turn unwanted Everton man into one of the league's top strikers

With Nikica Jelavic's future still in doubt, Vincent Ralph suggests that Cardiff City's new boss should take a chance on him.

Nikica Jelavic began his Everton career with a bang, before settling into something of a whimper.

His 11 goals and three assists in just 16 appearances for the Toffees following his January move from Rangers saw Goodison Park welcome a new hero. However then came the downturn, with the Croatian international netting just eight club goals in 18 months.

It was no surprise when Jelavic was tipped for a January exit – in part because of his hopes of making his country’s World Cup squad, and in part because Romelu Lukaku is continuing his remarkable rise as a one-man goal-machine.

One club linked with Jelavic is Queens Park Rangers, who may have seen a visit to Merseyside for an FA Cup third-round match as the perfect time to negotiate a deal, but instead found that same striker in fantastic, if belated, form.

Jelavic’s brace in Everton’s 4-0 win proved he still knows where the goal is, and he later said he hoped for more chances to prove he can still be a success at a side currently fifth in the Premier League.

But if Roberto Martinez cannot find a regular starting place for him, there is another option not previously discussed.

While QPR and West Ham United have been linked with the 28-year-old, the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Cardiff City could see one of the league’s most naturally-gifted strikers given a new lease of life under one of the best marksmen of all time.

This is merely speculation, based on little more than my own sense that one great goal-scorer can inspire greatness in another. But Cardiff need goals, and as much as the likes of Magnus Eikrem and Mats Moller Daehli can create, the Bluebirds still need a man to finish off the good work of others.

With a World Cup on the horizon, and Jelavic desperate to prove he still has what it takes both for club and for country, Solskjaer may be wise to make a move.

Martinez has already said he will not allow Jelavic to go on the cheap. But then when it comes to goal-scorers, you get what you pay for.

image: © Jon Candy

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