Struggling Everton have never quite found a suitable replacement for former striker Romelu Lukaku, who left the club for Manchester United in 2017. But it hasn’t been for the lack of trying.
The Belgium international scored an impressive 87 goals in 166 appearances for the Toffees and, since his departure, no one has come close to those returns.
Naturally, it was always going to be tough – Lukaku is a natural born goal scorer and his track-record is remarkable, but the club didn’t make it easy for themselves relying on the likes of Oumar Niasse and Cenk Tosun to complete the task. Possibly two of the worst players to stumble into an Everton shirt.
Only recently do they look like they have a player in Richarlison, and even he’s not banging them in at the necessary rate.
So who could have been their star man if Everton had only managed to pull off the necessary boardroom magic?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 2018
No doubt, the whole footballing world would have been truly amazed to see Sam Allardyce pull this transfer off.
But according to the man himself, it was a very real prospect.
The former England and Everton boss told talkSport he knew Aubameyang was keen on making the move to the Premier League, and the club had an excellent chance to bring him in because of it.
“Aubameyang was desperate to come to the Premier League,” he told Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (via talkSport), but later admitted, “we didn’t really know if it was definitely a yes [to Everton] or not – but it was probably not.”
Indeed, the former England manager even admitted that the money the club spent on bringing him to Goodison Park in the first place was one of the reasons a deal couldn’t be struck.
“It was always going to be too much money for January, because of what the club spent previous to me arriving”, he added.
It’s an interesting one to consider.
Obviously, the move to Arsenal makes sense now, but that’s only because it’s happened.
Had Everton capitalised on Aubameyang – who has a Transfermarkt rating of £67.5m – and his obvious desperation to play in the Premier League and correctly pitched their aims for a greater, more ambitious project – which, in all fairness, they’ve tried this year – then it could have been a far different story.
Money talks in this game.