Everton

Who The Hell is Paul Taylor? A Gamble Worth Taking?

Given the current global economic climate, for the majority of clubs it is no longer considered sensible to enter into the transfer market searching for numerous costly acquisitions.

Therefore, as Everton remain transfixed in this world of financial difficulty, they must by necessity continue to pursue targets in the free transfer market and/or the lower reaches of the football league, where low budget transfers are a more viable option.

David Moyes, according to the Daily Star, is ready to venture into the latter with a £2 million bid for Peterborough United striker Paul Taylor.  Is this another inspired find by Moyes?

It is always a gamble when bringing any player up to the heights of the Premier League from the lower echelons.  So great is the gap that few such players make the transition to the top flight and often end up back were they started.  As big a gamble as it is no one can deny that Everton manager, David Moyes, has an eye for a bargain making relatively relatively few mistakes in the transfer market, and some inspired acquisitions – Jagielka, Lescott and Cahill for example, with the little cash he has had to spend during his decade long tenure at Goodison Park.

So should this rumour transpire to be true, I can only assume that the risk with the Peterborough player is worth taking.

As has been said, jumping from lower league football to the Premier League is one of the most difficult transitions to accomplish, even more so for a striker – ask Jermaine Beckford.  Beckford came to Everton only a few years ago, at a similar age to Taylor, with a great deal of expectation resting on his shoulders.  A proven goal-scorer at all levels and seemingly knocking them in for fun during his time at Leeds United.

Everton took the chance on the pacey player (although he was on a free), but despite a great solo goal against Chelsea in May 2011, he couldn’t consistently make the grade in the Premiership and showed himself to be a Championship standard goal-scorer and not of a Premier League standard.

I fear this may be the case for the majority of Championship players, like Paul Taylor, who has himself even less experience of English football and less impressive statistics than Beckford boasted prior to his move to Merseyside.

So who is Paul Taylor?  He is a Liverpool born 24 year old forward who played youth team football for Liverpool, Manchester City and was even previously on the books at Everton’s academy for a period of time.  As it happens with the majority of youth team players at Premier League clubs, Taylor then went on to play senior football at Non-League level with sides such as Vauxhall Motors.

After a successful though somewhat turbulent time at Chester City, Taylor moved to Belgium but returned to England in February 2011 with Peterborough United.  Now, the former Anderlecht player finds himself transfer-listed at the Championship side after rejecting the offer of a new contract and joins fellow Posh striker George Boyd on the list.

This news has alerted the attention, if the reports are true, of a number of Premier League and Championship sides including Reading, Ipswich, West Brom and apparently Everton.  West Brom were linked to the 24 year old Taylor, by the Daily Mirror back in April.

If true, it would be expected that Everton would probably be favourites to sign the player given he is a local lad and has been with the club before.  But would Hughes have a greater opportunity of regular first team football elsewhere?  The Toffees now have Jelavic occupying the main striker role to great effect, he is and will remain the Blues number one striker for the forseeable future.

So, unless Moyes envisions Taylor to be a suitable candidate to partner Jelavic up-front, I do see him getting much of a chance in the current Everton line-up.  Much in the same vein as young players such as McAleny and Vellios, who have both shown flashes of potential at time, Tayloris likely to also fall into this category and have limited opportunity to stake a claim for a starting place.

Paul Taylor’s statistics this season are not as mind blowing as one would have assumed given the alleged widespread interest in the player.  In 36 starts, Taylor has scored 12 goals; although it has to be said this was at a club that has struggled its way though a tough season finishing the year in 18th place and just outside of the relegation places.  The 5ft 7 striker finished as the club’s top scorer after starting the season on the substitutes bench following a lengthy lay-off due to injury.

He has a tainted past in the professional game but appears to have put this behind him and produced some of the best form of his career; albeit against Championship level opposition.  Would he be a good signing?  Only time will tell but at £2 million he could emerge as an astute signing for Moyes.  Is the risk worth taking?

Little more than £2 million could reportedly acquire the services of Ranger’s Naismith, a proven goal-scorer who enjoyed a prolific partnership with Jelavic in Scotland.  What’s more, players of the calibre of Rodallega, Diame, Hoilett, Barnetta and Fernandes, players of international standing available as free agents.  Would they not be less of a risk, even in spite of their probable higher wage demands?

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