If the newspapers are to be believed, then David Moyes may well have been keeping a close eye on Shane Long’s situation last summer.
As it transpired, the Irish forward made a £6m switch to the Hawthorns, and Moyes waited until January before moving to sign Nikica Jelavic from Rangers.
This Saturday Long will visit Goodison as a West Brom player, while Jelavic will be looking to score for a third successive match.
The Croat has three in five starts for the Blues and has looked a constant threat since his switch from the SPL.
Long, meanwhile, has found goals slightly harder to come by. His consolation in the 3-1 defeat to Newcastle last weekend was his first in eight games and his seventh in 25 appearances.
For ex-Blues striker Graeme Sharp, the stats highlight the differing virtues possessed by the two players.
“I have been very impressed with Jelavic,” Sharp told evertonfc.com. “He has got great awareness. To play up there like he does you need to see what is around you and he has that. You play the ball up to him and he instantly has a picture and not everyone has that.
“You can also play off him, his touch is good and he is probably better with his back to goal than Shane Long. The really impressive thing with him is that he always looks to get in the six-yard box as well. He is more of a natural goalscorer than Long.
Sharp added: “I think Long has done reasonably well this season. He is not the tallest lad in the world but has a good leap, wins his fair share of headers and is a hard worker. He started brightly and scored a few - they dried up a bit - but he is a lively front player who will run all day, be a bit of a pest and be someone you have to keep an eye on.
“He may be a little disappointed he has not scored a few more, but he does a lot of the unselfish things, and whilst supporters look at goals, I bet if you speak to his teammates they will really appreciate all the work he does for the team.”
The stats tend to back up Sharp’s assessment, with Jelavic almost matching Long’s attempts on goal in less than a third as many games.
Both players have fired in nine shots off target, while Jelavic has managed 11 accurate shots in five starts and three substitute appearances compared to Long’s 18 goalbound efforts in his 18 starts and seven run-outs from the bench.
Long is yet to assist a goal for the Baggies, while Jelavic has managed to set up two goals for his Everton teammates.
And Sharp added: “The thing that has impressed me most about Jelavic is his ability to play with other people – not just with his feet but with his head – he’ll flick balls on as well as hold up play.
“He has been very good so far. His goals have been excellent goals and goals the like of which you want to see your centre forward scoring. Earlier on in the season we were crying out for someone to get in the box and score a goal and I think Jelavic is that man.”
To see exactly how Jelavic and Long compare then click here.
The head-to-head section of evertonfc.com allows you to compare Everton stars with any other Premier League player.
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