What The Papers Say - 23 March
Blues linked with three summer signings in Saturday's round-up.
The views on this page are taken from the local and national media and do not necessarily reflect the views of Everton.
Everton are checking on Real Mallorca striker Tomer Hemed.
The Israeli international scored against Portugal in their World Cup Qualifier clash on Friday, and Everton scouts have also watched him in La Liga action.
Hemed's goal was Israel's equaliser to Bruno Alves' opener for the visitors in a thrilling match which ended 3-3 courtesy of a late leveller by Real Madrid and Portugal full-back Fabio Coentrao.
Hemed, 25, has a physical style suited to the Premier League and could leave for around £5million. He started the season well with five goals in seven games but has since tailed off with just one goal for Mallorca since December.
Marouane Fellaini's commitment to Everton has been praised by Phil Jagielka.
Fellaini received stick from some fans when he threw a strop at being hauled off by David Moyes during the Blues' shock FA Cup defeat to Wigan at Goodison Park.
Jagielka claims Fellaini proved his devotion to Everton's cause by playing with an injury in their magnificent win against Manchester City last Saturday.
"We know what sort of person he is and I'd like to think most fans would consider what he's done for the club this season," said the England defender, who hopes to return from his ankle injury to face Stoke next week.
"We can forgive him for five minutes of ultra frustration which bubbled over. It's good to see that he's up for it because when he's like that it makes us a lot stronger as a team.
"He had a painful ankle problem before the City game and he could have milked it and missed the game before disappearing off on international week. But he was desperate to play.
"He strapped himself up and put in a great performance. You cannot question his commitment.
"Felli has taken all the beatings for us throughout the season and he will feel sometimes like the world is against him. Sometimes it has been.
"You can forget he is not that old. He hasn't grown up in the Premier League for all his career and hasn't been at this level as long as others.
PREMIER LEAGUE sides Everton and West Ham are tracking Barcelona midfielder Jonathan dos Santos.
Dos Santos, the younger brother of former Barcelona and Tottenham forward Giovani, is being watched by both Everton and West Ham with a view to a summer bid.
The 22-year-old recently admitted that he may have to leave the Nou Camp in order to play first-team football, having also dropped out of contention for national team Mexico.
Reports in Spain indicate that Dos Santos is tempted by a switch to the Premier League, and with Barca willing to let the midfielder leave he could switch to England for next season.
While Dos Santos claimed he has not wasted a year at the Catalan outfit - where he has made just one substitute appearance - it appears he is ready to leave the club he joined as a 12-year-old in 2002.
"I’m learning from the best in the world," insisted Dos Santos. "I’m in the best school and best club in the world. People can say I wasted a year, but for me I haven’t."
"I still don’t know what’s out there, we’ll see in the summer. You don’t know what could happen."
ABDISALAM IBRAHIM – the Manchester City midfielder touted as the next Patrick Vieira – wants to quit the club in the summer.
The Norway Under-21 star is currently having a second loan spell back home with Stromsgodset.
But he is anxious to find another Premier League club at the end of the season, with Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham and Everton monitoring the Somalia-born 21-year-old.
City rate Ibrahim highly and Vieira himself, the club’s football development executive, travelled to Norway to watch him in Stromsgodset’s 2-0 home win over Sandnes Ulf on Sunday.
But after just three appearances for City since signing in 2007 – and loan moves to NEC and Scunthorpe – Ibrahim wants to quit Eastlands.
He has one full year left on his contract so could be available for as little as £500,000.
SPAIN striker Alvaro Negredo has put Everton FC on alert by hinting he could be open to a summer move to England.
David Moyes made an ambitious bid to land the Sevilla star on transfer deadline day in January, although the Blues were unable to match his club’s £13m asking price.
The Toffees had hoped Sevilla would compromise with the prospect of possible financial disaster facing some of La Liga’s top clubs in terms of unpaid tax bills.
Time ran out on the Blues in January, but now the 27-year-old goalscorer has gone public on his desire to play in the Premier League.
He said: “It is a league that I like and sooner or later I will play in it.
“(Sevilla) President Jose Maria del Nido received some offers in January, but decided not to consider them.
“We’ll see what is going to happen in the future.”
With many clubs in Spain’s top two divisions already having trouble paying bank debts totalling some £3bn, pressure from Brussels is likely to force almost all top flight clubs in the country to consider offers for their most saleable assets this summer or face liquidation.
Negredo has scored 20 goals in 30 appearances for his club so far this season, and is under contract with Los Rojiblancos until 2016.
GRAEME SHARP had a hair-razing answer to ending a barren spell in front of goal. The man second only to Dixie Dean in Everton’s all-time scoring charts still endured occasional runs without a goal.
And when he did he had a novel solution.
“If I ever had a barren spell I used to drive back to Scotland to get my hair cut by my sister-in-law who is a hairdresser.
“I can’t tell you why but it always seemed to work!”
Whether Nikica Jelavic employed similar psychology or not isn’t known. But Sharp hopes that Saturday’s drought-ending strike which clinched victory over Manchester City will spark the same kind of goals deluge which heralded Jelavic’s arrival at Goodison 14 months ago.
After 11 goals in his first 14 games the Croatian has endured a difficult second season.
After a steady, rather than sparkling goals return in the first few months of the campaign, a man who couldn’t stop scoring last season, whatever the opposition, couldn’t buy a goal.
The last minute strike against City ended a 12-match drought since he struck at Cheltenham in the FA Cup third round.
It was also his first goal in 13 Premier League appearances, since a dramatic last minute winner against Tottenham which was so typical of last season’s first-time strikes.
Sharp knows exactly what he went through.
In the spring of 1984 a striker who went on to become a club legend struck twice in a 4-4 draw at Watford – then went 12 games without a goal.
It was a sequence which even threatened to compromise his place in the Cup Final team – until a goal at Villa Park sparked a late season flurry.
Two goals followed against Queens Park Rangers, then Sharp famously opened the scoring in the Cup Final at Wembley with a precisely finished shot past Steve Sherwood.
Sharp remember the mentally draining affects well.
“It’s really hard,” he said. “People don’t realise how much it affects strikers."
“You could be playing well and the team could be winning, as it was in 1984, which is always the most important thing.
“But as a striker you are always judged on your goals return and if you are not scoring you don’t feel like you’re doing your job properly.
“It affects you mentally.
“You are always thinking about it and you start trying too hard to score. You start doing things differently rather than reacting naturally.
“It doesn’t matter what people say to you and whether you’re still working hard for the team, you do worry.
“You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t feel like that.
“Nikica Jelavic has been going into every game with added pressure. He’ll have been going out there feeling he has to score and you could see the relief in his celebration last Saturday just how much that goal meant to him.
“That will have done him the world of good and hopefully it will spark a run of goals for him now.
“The international break has probably come at the wrong time – but Marouane Fellaini’s suspension might mean that David Moyes will have to use him against Stoke next week now anyway, and his confidence will be so much better.
“What I would say, though, is that all the way through his barren spell Niki has worked his socks off.
“He hasn’t hid – and you could see that he has been trying everything to score a goal.
“He’s even wearing different boots now to what he was wearing last season when he was scoring all those goals.
“Last season he was wearing Nike, now I think he has Warrior, the same as Marouane Fellaini.
“Lots of players try things like that.
“You’ll have something different for breakfast, you’ll put a different boot on first.
“Gary Lineker had his ‘lucky’ boots in the run-in to the 1985-86 season and, of course, they were famously left behind for the crucial game at Oxford.
“He missed a few chances that night, the kind of chances he’d been gobbling up all season, got his lucky boots back the following week against Southampton and scored a hat-trick! That’s strikers for you.
“Hopefully Nikica Jelavic’s new boots will prove lucky for him now.”