Last night, in the wonderful 3-0 win over Newcastle, loan-star Romelu Lukaku showed how important he is to Roberto Martinez’ Everton side.
He scored the second before setting up Leon Osman for the third and final goal. Chelsea will either recall or sell the Belgian in the summer, so the Toffees will need to look at life without the former Anderlecht striker.
Last weekend they had representatives in northern France to watch Valenciennes forward Abdul Majeed Waris, and they would have been suitably impressed. Is he the man Martinez wants to replace Lukaku?
Waris is a much different striker than Lukaku, he is smaller, but faster with the ball at his feet, he does however, have the same striking instincts as the Chelsea loanee. Currently only on loan at Valenciennes, he has been vital in their bid for survival this season. Since moving in January he has scored eight goals in 11 matches. His record is surprising since he only managed one goal in the same amount of games for Spartak Moscow.
Unable to settle in Russia, he wanted to leave Moscow in order to win a place in the Ghanaian national team with the upcoming World Cup in June. He has done his chances no harm at all. Already a fan-favourite with the Valenciennes fans, they know it is very unlikely he will be at the club next season.
This is not the first time Everton have shown interest in the 22-year-old, back in 2012 the forward gained a few admirers while playing for Swedish club BK Häcken. He scored 26 goals in 55 games, earning him links with clubs from Germany, France and England. Both Arsenal and Everton were linked with the striker at the time.
Now Everton are back in the hunt for Waris, scouts were present as he scored twice in the 3-2 loss to AC Ajaccio last weekend.
The success of Lukaku this season might tempt Martinez to look for a similar style striker to replace the Belgian, but a move for Waris should be considered with Spanish attacking Gerald Deulofeu also likely to return to Barcelona after this season. Waris only cost Spartak €2.2 million two years ago, and it is unlikely the Russian club will look for much of a mark-up on the Ghanaian forward.
Since his move to France the striker has won back his place in the Ghana national team, if he continues to score for Valenciennes this season, then any side should make a move before he announces himself on the world stage in Brazil. His quick feet, and deadly eye in front of goal, plus his excellent acceleration, make him a player that could fit Everton’s impressive young-side. They need to strike now before his stock gets any higher.