Prior to his arrival at Goodison last January, there were plenty who questioned whether Nikica Jelavic could produce the goods in the Premier League. The Croatian’s superb scoring record for Glasgow Rangers was dismissed by cynics, who deemed the level of Scottish top-flight competition far too lightweight to judge a player’s real potential. Fast forward four months and Jelavic’s Everton record of nine goals from 13 appearances was proof enough that David Moyes, finally, had found a first-class finisher to lead the line for the Merseysiders:
Steven Pienaar’s loan return for the second half of last season also proved critical. With the South African’s left flank understanding with Leighton Baines producing a potent source of creativity which Jelavic was all too happy to feed upon, the Toffees customary climb up the table earned them a seventh place finish. As the lone frontman in Moyes’ favoured 4-5-1, Jelavic, from just 10 starts, had returned 11 bonus points in addition to those nine goals in the Fantasy Premier League games and accrued 69 points; a clear indication of his Fantasy potential.
With Pienaar back on a permanent basis and Marouane Fellaini terrorising defences in support of Jelavic up top, Everton have already beaten United and eased past Villa before succumbing to West Brom at the Hawthorns last weekend. While the midfielders have picked up plenty of suitors thanks to their eye-catching performances, Jelavic has crept under the radar somewhat, despite getting off the mark in the Gameweek 2 win at Villa Park.
In part, it’s down to Robin Van Persie and Carlos Tevez. With FPL managers desperate to install both in their frontlines, the need for a cut-price forward to balance the budget means 8.5 priced Jelavic currently has just 10% ownership. In the Sky Sports game, it’s another matter entirely, though – with just 30 transfers to make over the season, the Croatian is fourth most popular forward thus far – a real show of faith in his consistency.
Moyes will be keen to bounce back from the Baggies loss and, looking at the fixture ticker, Everton have a superb run of fixtures on their agenda over the next couple of months to profit from. Between now and Gameweek 13, Jelavic will welcome (NEW, SOT, LIV, SUN, NOR) to Goodison and with Baines’ creativity, in particular, a real stand out feature of the Toffees play right now, the Croatian could well be in line to rack up the goals and offer a viable value alternative to those brave enough to overlook the services of the free-scoring Manchester duo.
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For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
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