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Everton's win over West Ham at weekend kept their top six bid on track, and former Toffees midfielder Tim Cahill believes the club are heading in the right direction under Roberto Martinez, and could even sneak into the Champions League places with a bit of luck.
“It will be very difficult for Everton to finish in the top four,” Cahill said. “But the top six is definitely still massive for them and you never know, they could sneak in the back door. They’ve played some great football this year and the manager has done well and made some great signings. For the club it’s all about looking for some consistency and hopefully they can build on that for the rest of the year and finish strongly.”
Everton's top four hopes took a huge blow when Romelu Lukaku suffered an injury, and replacement Lacina Traore also went down injured before the Toffees' 1-0 loss at Chelsea. Manager Martinez stated today that Traore will miss around two months of action, but wouldn't be returning to parent club AS Monaco as they still hold out hope that the Ivorian will return for the end of season run-in.
“He should be back in the next seven to eight weeks so it’s not the end of Lacina at Everton” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo. “We’re excited about that and he’s delighted. He was in the dressing room devastated at Stamford Bridge after the warm-up. Now he wants to show he’s ready to help the team and if he can participate in the last two or three weeks of the season it will be a major bonus.”
Traore will return to France at the end of the season whilst Lukaku will also head back to his parent club with Chelsea seeking a new striker, meaning Martinez will be active in the transfer market as he searches for a new goalscorer. It seems Standard Liege's Michy Batshuayi is a name to watch, but Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven are also looking to bring the Belgian international to the club, meaning the Toffees will need to move quickly if Martinez believes he is the man to replace Lukaku and Traore.
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