Why Celtic man Georgios Samaras is a perfect fit for Everton

Everton Goodison 2

Greek forward is set to leave Celtic Park this summer and a move to Merseyside and the Premier League could be a match made in heaven for all concerned.

With Romelu Lukaku set to return to parent club Chelsea this summer, Everton manager Roberto Martinez may already be on the search for new striker but he need not look far for the perfect alternative – Georgios Samaras.

Currently in the last few weeks of his contract with Celtic, the popular Bhoys target man is set to be available on a free transfer come the end of the season, with Hoops manager Neil Lennon today admitting the forward’s future lay away from the club.

"We only have three or four weeks of the season left and there has been no indication he will stay so I'm assuming he will go,” he told the Daily Record.

"Georgios has had considerable interest from bigger clubs. I don't know what his target destination is…In his own mind he has a set country where he would like to play but I don't know what that is."

While the Greek star may dream of turning out for Barcelona or AC Milan, the reality is that a move to the Premier League with Everton offers the striker a great opportunity to thrive in the English top flight.

That said, Samaras may take some convincing having previously failed to hit the mark in a spell with Manchester City early in his career.

Signed by Stuart Pearce for £6 million back in January of 2006, the Greek forward managed just eight goals in 54 appearances for the Sky Blues before Celtic offered him an escape route and an opportunity to return to the kind of form that saw him net 25 times in 88 appearances as a youngster at Heerenveen.

Since then the striker has gone from strength to strength both domestically and in Europe with the Bhoys, with an undoubted highlight being his continental performances for Celtic during the 2012/13 season where Samaras became the first Hoops player to score in five consecutive away games.

It’s that pedigree, and his innate ability at leading the line which could make him a shrewd purchase for an Everton team with ambitions of Champions League football.

Strong in the air and good at holding up the ball and bringing others into play, he possesses all of the qualities that have made Lukaku such an essential component of the Toffees team this season.

And in Martinez, he has a manager with a track record for getting the best out of players of a similar ilk, whether it be Steven Naismith this season, or Shaun Maloney – a player who also struggled during his first stint in England – during his time with Wigan.

Samaras may have more lucrative offers elsewhere, but if Everton come calling, he would be foolish to say no.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch