Prior to Watford’s trip to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon, only Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse had hit the back of the net in Everton’s first ten games of the 2017/18 Premier League season.
Just imagine the relief around the blue half of Merseyside, then, when Niasse, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and a stoppage time Leighton Baines penalty inspired Everton to a dramatic 3-2 comeback win against Marco Silva’s Hornets.
Goals for strikers Niasse and Calvert-Lewin could hardly have been better timed with Everton’s failure to bring in a replacement for Romelu Lukaku in the summer coming under a great deal of scrutiny.
Though another centre-forward let go by Everton in the summer has been in fine form too so far in 2017/18. The Toffees opted not to sign Enner Valencia on a permanent deal from West Ham for £14.5 million at the end of last season (BBC) after the Ecuadorian netted just three times in 21 Premier League games.
Since returning to South America with Tigres UNAL from West Ham in July, however, Valencia has embarked upon his most prolific run of form since his previous spell in Mexico with Pachuca back in 2014.
Valencia’s winner in the 1-0 win against Necaxa this weekend took the striker’s tally to a hugely impressive nine in 13 starts for Tigres – just one less than the entire Everton team has managed in the opening weeks of the current campaign.
Valencia would have been a snip at £14.5 million if he posted those figures at Everton. Nonetheless, if Calvert-Lewin and Niasse can build on goalscoring performances, the talk will be on who The Toffees kept rather than those they let go.
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