Former Liverpool defender and now-pundit Jamie Carragher has hailed Everton’s Steven Naismith as one of the Premier League’s top performers over the past six months.
Carragher was speaking after witnessing the forward give Scotland a second-half lead against Poland in their Euro 2016 qualifier, which saw Gordon Strachan’s side claim a deserved 2-2 draw in Warsaw.
Signing for Everton from Rangers in the summer of 2012, Naismith endured a slow start to his career with the Toffees, but would spring into life towards the end of the 2013-14 campaign, grabbing three goals and three assists in the final eight matches to help the club to a fifth-place finish.
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He has carried his fine run of form over into this season, scoring four times in the opening seven league games to establish himself as one of the first names on manager Roberto Martinez’s teamsheet, and Carragher believes the 31-times capped international is now among the top-flight’s most dangerous attacking threats.
‘He has over the last six months been one of the most impressive players in the Premier League, even when you think of some of the stars in the league,’ he told Sky Sports.
‘He played wide tonight but at times for Everton he plays as a lone striker, and he can play off the front, left or right – he’s a manager’s dream.
‘His goal record might not be great but he had a great finish tonight, and he’s so much more than that.
‘To play against him as a defender, back when I was playing, he’s the type of player who was a nightmare to come up against.’