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'Traore More Than A Target Man'

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Everton manager Roberto Martinez has warned Premier League defenders around the country that there is much more to Lacina Traore’s game than initially meets the eye.

Standing at 6ft 8in tall, the forward’s frame perfectly fits the ‘target man’ description.

But Martinez says people should not be misled by the Ivorian’s build and that his latest recruit is just as accomplished in front of goal with the ball at his feet as he is in the air.

Traore was unveiled to the media at Finch Farm on Thursday after joining on loan from AS Monaco last week.

Martinez said: “You can see with Lacina’s height – he is an inch taller than Peter Crouch – that he is a unique footballer. But his size may give you the wrong impression of the way he is.

“Technically he is very gifted, he doesn’t play just as a normal target man and he gives you a different dimension up front. He is very quick and is a real athlete.

“Those aspects make him a little different and he is a footballer who will bring us a lot."

Traore arrives in England having played the last three years in the Russian top-flight with Kuban Krasnodar and Anzhi Makhachkala where he scored 31 goals in 67 league games.

Martinez is hopeful that the striker can make a similar impact in the Premier League when he returns to full fitness shortly.

Traore is currently nursing a minor injury, though he said on Thursday that he is a ‘week or two’ away from returning to 100 per cent.

Martinez continued: “He’s got great awareness of what’s around him and a very clinical eye. In the Russian League he had a goal ratio of one every two games and that shows he is a natural goalscorer.

“He is coming back from Russia after a period with a few injuries and he wants to get back showing a real desire of what he can do.

“Now we just need to be a little bit patient to make sure he is fully fit.”

Tickets for Saturday's game against Aston Villa are still available - click here to buy online, call 0871 663 1878 or visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter.

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