Everton eye Enner with Martinez vying Valencia
Toffees boss Roberto Martinez could be set to swoop for his second ‘Valencia’. This time it is Enner Valencia from Mexican club side Pachuca, and of Ecuadorian descent.
The 25-year-old attacker has had a sterling World Cup with his country, having scored all three of their goals, and subsequently shot into the attentions of the Merseyside club.
Martinez has built a reputation helping South and Central American stars to flourish in the Premier League, most famously with Enner’s namesake and compatriot Antonio, who captained El Tri at the Brazil finals.
Wilson Palacios, Maynor Figueroa, Jean Beausejour, Antolin Alcaraz, and Hugo Rodellega are all products of the Martinez movement. The young Spanish coach has a proven track record of helping Latin Americans make a smooth transition to playing in the Premier League. His belief in players of this continental region is so strong that he took both Alcaraz and Figueroa with him to Everton when he left Wigan.
The Toffees, who came so close to qualifying for next season’s Champions League, are currently 4/1 to finish in the top four in the 2014/15 campaign. They start the new term away against Championship winners Leicester City and are 6/5 to record a victory.
Negotiations with Valencia are at an early stage, though now Ecuador have been eliminated from the World Cup, Martinez will hope a deal can be tied up sooner rather than later, and at the very least before players return for pre-season training.
With striker Romelu Lukaku’s future uncertain, having spent last term on loan at Goodison Park, the Spanish boss clearly recognises a need for a frontman. The good news is Valencia’s versatility. He has evidently impressed in a central striking berth for country, though at club level mainly operates from the right wing. If Martinez is swayed to this train of thought, his athleticism and direct running, combined with right back Seamus Coleman’s equally impressive attributes, it could be a fearsome partnership for any opposition.
Also lethal from set pieces, he is 5ft 8in and has an impressive leap for a small player, as he showed against Honduras, when he nodded in a delivery to put Ecuador ahead. Having netted six times in seven occasions for his country, he is on a hot streak. Add to that 12 strikes for his club side this season, and that is a respectable return for a player who was deployed on the wing. The majority of goals were scored in the penalty area, which emphasises where he most deadly, and could perhaps be a major clue as to where he could be utilised for Everton.
Although he has attracted the attention of other Premier League clubs, most notably Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle, however with Martinez at the helm, and considering his reputation with Latin American players, surely Everton have the advantage.