Everton FC: 6 Strikers Who Would Be a Better January Option Than Oscar Cardozo
The Paraguayan was indeed irresistible during those fixtures, and with David Luiz, Javi Garcia, Angel Di Maria, Ramires and Fabio Coentrao also featuring, Benfica proved quite an imposing force.
Yet, as impressed as Goodison Park was with Cardozo, the link has always seemed a strange one for fans to believe. Realistically, the chances of him ever moving to Everton have always seemed remote at best.
Well-documented financial restraints require David Moyes to operate in a shrewd and meticulous manner in transfer windows, seeking cheaper bargains or buys with the potential to develop and increase in worth.
Already 29, and still valued at around £16 million, Cardozo simply doesn't meet any of Everton's criteria.
Along with a combative central midfielder, the Toffees are certainly in need of support for Nikica Jelavic up front, and whilst Cardozo won't be the solution, Moyes may well use January to shore up his attacking ranks.
Other potential targets may not be of a higher calibre than the Benfica man, but there are far more practical options out there for Everton that would maintain their sustainability and not completely dismiss their business structure.
This slide does not aim to completely devalue Cardozo, but merely highlight how unrealistic it currently is to link a multimillion-pound 29-year-old striker to Everton.
Here is a look at some more likely names Moyes may be considering that would not shake the foundations of an already impoverished club.
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Bordeaux's Yoan Gouffran is a player that was supposedly on the radar of several Premier League clubs during the summer, having implied he fancies a move to English shores in the not-too-distant future.
Available on a free transfer next year, the 26-year-old Frenchman, capped at Under-21 level, may well receive attention come January.
What instantly suits the Toffees with Gouffran is his versatility. Capable playing out wide, he has been most consistent when deployed as a front man this season, scoring five goals.
The fact he is likely to be available for a cut-price fee in January, would arrive at his peak and could perform in several roles make him an obvious target for Everton to monitor.
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Yet to make his Premier League debut for Manchester City, Guidetti is a 20-year-old Swedish striker, who has already gained international recognition after bursting onto the scene last year.
Few had heard of this academy product until a dazzling loan spell at Feyenoord, complete with 20 goals in just 23 appearances, soon provided him some attention. He finished the season as the fifth top scorer in Holland.
Poised to sign a new contract at City, the fact he is stuck behind some of the game's best strikers means Roberto Mancini will surely look to send him out on loan to further craft his glistening potential.
With a full quota of loan acquisitions to use up, don't be surprised if Everton are one of the clubs eyeing up this talented youngster. He's low-risk, low-cost and is a player hungry to prove himself.
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Talking of loan deals, how about a quick six-week deal to bring back Tim Cahill?
Again, on loan, the fee would be minimal and Everton would be getting a proven goal scorer to boost their squad for a couple of months.
Some will argue he wouldn't be needed, but an injury to Nikica Jelavic could seriously derail the Toffees. Reintroducing the talismanic Aussie would create a buzz and a feel-good factor that would permeate the club and intensify on-field momentum.
Whether he would start behind Nikica Jelavic, enabling Marouane Fellaini to drop back into midfield, or simply provide a couple of all-action cameos, this would be a hugely popular move with the majority of fans—and something the player hasn't ruled out himself.
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With 60 goals in 100 games, there is little more Gary Hooper can achieve in Scotland to further embellish his goal-scoring reputation.
Champions League football will help him this season, but desperate for an England call, this scenario will remain a distant possibility as long as he's playing in the SPL. In short, at 24, he needs a move.
The Englishman's scoring credentials are clear, but as well as being clinical in front of goal, his hold-up play and movement have developed significantly at Celtic.
Everton would only become players in any potential race for his signature should Moyes have funds remaining from the summer, but if that's the case, Hooper is the type of player likely to be tracked.
His fee should not be too intimidating, and having hit the jackpot with Nikica Jelavic, could another move for an SPL striker be on the cards this winter?
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Wilfred Zaha is undoubtedly a player destined for the very top of the game, and it seems likely he will be leaving Crystal Palace in the near future.
Already an important part of the England Under-21 setup, a move to a Premier League club could soon have him knocking on the door of Roy Hodgson's squad, given England's deficiency of strikers.
Four goals in his last two games have quickly caught the eye of transfer rumourmongers, and his name is rapidly becoming a more frequent feature in gossip columns.
Comfortable playing out wide or as a second striker, Zaha possesses pace and trickery that will make most Premier League clubs take an interest—Everton must advertise their academy success and play on their tendencies to use youngsters if they wish to land his services.
Again, he's a player whose fee may take some manoeuvring around for the Toffees, but Zaha will be a coup wherever he goes and should quickly prove worth the investment.
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Finally, how about yet another January return for Landon Donovan, maybe even in a permanent capacity this time around?
Obviously a far cheaper alternative to several other options, the Toffees would also be getting a player who has proved he can make an impact with little adjustment time.
On previous visits he has quickly bought into the mantra of the club, winning the hearts of supporters with some wholehearted, energetic displays that have lifted the form of those playing around him.
Moyes knows the pace, dynamism, and vision he would bring and after two successful spells, Everton could do far worse than opening their arms to Donovan once again.
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