Everton may currently be the bookies’ favourites to sign Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku but with reports suggesting the Toffees are also chewing over a bid for Carlos Bacca, Roberto Martinez could be better off bidding for the Colombia.
Part of Los Cafeteros’ squad at the World Cup in Brazil, the 27-year-old is coming off the back of a memorable season in Spain with Sevilla, where he helped the Andalusians win the Europa League, and he could prove to be a shrewd purchase for the Blues.
Here are five reasons why Everton should opt for Bacca over Lukaku.
Lukaku will carry a larger price tag
At just 21 years of age, Romelu Lukaku is unlikely to come cheap and while some news outlets have suggested the Belgian could depart Stamford Bridge for £18 million, the reality is that Chelsea are unlikely to part company with a player they signed for almost £20 million unless they make a significant return on their investment.
Bacca is reportedly being priced at £14 million by Sevilla president Jose Castro but, given his age, Everton could opt to play hardball with the Andalusians and sign the striker for what may end up being less than half what they would have been forced to fork out for Lukaku.
Bacca’s record in continental competition
While the Belgian has undoubtedly impressed in the Premier League with West Brom and the Toffees, he has yet to live up to the hype in Europe with his only major contribution being a missed penalty in last season’s European Super Cup.
A failure to find the net regularly for Belgium at the World Cup also saw the untested Divock Origi earn a starting spot and while Bacca enjoyed limited playing time for Colombia he was instrumental in Sevilla’s Europa League success scoring seven times with goals against the likes of Porto and Valencia. If Everton want to mount a serious challenge in Europe, that could prove useful.
The Colombian was even better in Belgium
Lukaku undoubtedly impressed during the early part of his career in Belgium, scoring 33 league goals in 73 domestic appearances for Anderlecht to catch the eye of Chelsea and earn a move to England.
But Bacca was something altogether different during his short time at Club Brugge, playing just one-and-a-half seasons in a whirlwind spell that saw him score 28 goals in 45 league appearances. It prompted Sevilla to pay €7 million for his services and Everton would be wise to follow suit.
Lukaku lacks the work rate of Bacca
One of the biggest criticisms you can make with regards Lukaku is the lack of work-rate outside of the final third shown by the forward, who rarely tracks back to defend and is not known for his tackling or even blocking abilities.
Bacca averaged more tackles per game in La Liga than Lukaku did in the Premier League and also won more headers than the Belgian both in the opposition’s penalty area and in defensive positions across the pitch. With Roberto Martinez keen to promote an all-hands-on-deck philosophy within the team, the Colombian may be a better fit.
South American is more of the finished article
A detailed analysis of the notable differences between Belgium national team rivals Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku highlighted a notable weakness in the latter’s game: heading.
The 21-year-old won fewer aerial battle and scored fewer headers, two statistics that are somewhat surprising given his stature. Belgium were a ghost of the team that qualified in style going forward and with Bacca boasting the same finishing prowess alongside a better record with his head, it could pay to gamble on the Sevilla man.