Should Everton look to include Loic Remy in the deal to sell Romelu Lukaku?
It looks like Chelsea are heavily pursuing Romelu Lukaku as they try to bring the Belgian striker back to the club this summer. Everton are believed to want a fee as high as £75m for their prized asset, but Chelsea are reluctant to go that high. They may try to use Loic Remy as a makeweight in the deal as the Frenchman is surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge.
Everton have struggled to sign their targets this summer and have had a frustrating window, despite having funds available. Ronald Koeman was a good appointment, but the club have a lot of work to do on the squad before the window closes. They are facing an uphill battle to keep Lukaku and John Stones this month, two of their better players. If both leave, Everton will receive a lot of money, but their squad will have been significantly weakened.
Although Loic Remy has had a disappointing couple of seasons at Chelsea, there is no doubting his ability as a goal-scorer. During his loan spell at Newcastle in 2013/14, he scored 14 league goals and showed that he can be a regular scorer in the Premier League. His chances have been few and far between at Chelsea, but he always looks a threat when on the pitch. This is highlighted by his record at the club, scoring every 119.1 minutes for Chelsea in Premier League.
He is 29 and in theory should be in the peak years of his career, but two seasons with limited impact may have had a negative effect on Remy. The Frenchman would have believed in his ability to break into the Chelsea side and he will perhaps be disappointed that he wasn’t given as many opportunities as his performances deserved. The next step of his career is crucial and Everton could be a good fit.
For Everton, Loic Remy may not have been a priority target to replace Lukaku, but they may consider the option of taking him as part of the deal. There are a number of advantages for the club if they do.
Firstly, it will cushion the blow of losing Lukaku, which could be important as supporters will be worried about their attacking options, with Arouna Kone the only other striker within the squad. Secondly, he is a French international and would bring a proven pedigree to the club. Thirdly, there would be little risk involved as he wouldn’t cost a fee.
There are plenty of reasons for Everton to look at Loic Remy as a viable option this summer, but he isn’t at the level of Lukaku. Therefore the club would still want to bring in another forward and that could prove to be difficult. This late in the window, it will be hard to convince a club to sell a striker and even harder to secure one as good as Lukaku. Remy may be a good addition, but he couldn’t be considered an adequate replacement for Lukaku.
An issue with agreeing to sell Lukaku for such a huge fee is that other clubs will know Everton have money to spend. This could lead to selling clubs charging increased prices for Everton targets.
Ronald Koeman will have understood the size of the task ahead of him at Goodison Park when he took the job, and it continues to get harder with each day. He has struggled to sign targets and now he looks set to lose two very good players. They must remain composed and secure their targets quickly before things get too desperate. Loic Remy may not have been in the thoughts of Koeman when he took charge of Everton, but now the opportunity to sign him may appeal a lot more.
The next few weeks are important for Ronald Koeman as there is plenty of work to build a squad good enough to challenge for the top six. Loic Remy would be a good addition and soften the disappointment of losing Romelu Lukaku. The Frenchman would be viewed as a second choice striker and couldn’t replace Lukaku alone, but it is certainly something that should be considered by Koeman.
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