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Moving Target

Moving Target – Nikica Jelavic

It was never going to be the world’s best kept secret. With his side struggling to find the net with any regularity, Steve Bruce had earmarked the January transfer window as a means of bolstering his failing attack. Earlier this week, Nikica Jelavić became the most expensive signing in Hull City’s history after moving from Everton in a record-breaking deal, understood to be worth £7.5m.

Bruce, who earlier today also signed Shane Long from West Brom, had this to say on his new strike force:

“I believe at this particular moment for a 26 and 28-year-old is a fantastic piece of business… [Nikica and Shane Long] are both coming into their best years and Jelavić is at an age when he wants to play in the World Cup and to have a Hull City player with a chance of kicking off the World Cup is fantastic.”

It would appear that the World Cup is a major reason for Jelavić’s move and, with confidence flowing following his recent FA Cup brace against QPR, the Croat believes he has what it takes to make the trip to Brazil this summer.

“I’m a striker, I need goals and I will score goals, I know that… I just need some games. Playing for Croatia is something I also take huge pride in and with a World Cup on the horizon I was in the situation of needing to play more games to make sure I remain in Niko Kovac’s thoughts ahead of the tournament in Brazil.

The History

At the tender age of 15, Jelavić signed for Croatian second-city side, Hajduk Split. Injuries hampered his integration and it was not until he approached his 21st birthday that the young boy from Čapljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, made the first team. A regular in the side during the 2006/07 season, Jelavić scored five goals in 17 league appearances and was transfer listed after a disappointing debut campaign.

Following a brief, equally unfruitful season in Belgium (with Zlute Waregem), Nikica found his feet in the Austrian capital city when he signed for SK Rapid Wien in 2008. Playing for the champions, the Croatian registered seven goals from 24 games – 15 of which were from the bench. In his second season, Jelavić fired a further 18 goals in 33 games and, with four in six Europa League games, he caught the eye of Glasgow Rangers, who signed the in-form striker in August, 2010.

The £4m man quickly made his mark. Not even an early ankle injury would unsettle him as he went on to smash 17 goals in his first 27 starts, also picking up the goal-of-the-season award and writing history with an extra time, League Cup-winning goal against bitter rivals Celtic. On January 31st, 2012, Everton came calling. A reported £5m was enough to prize the forward from Ibrox – who by that time had notched a further 14 times in just 22 league appearances.

Jelavić brought his goalscoring boots south of the border. Two goals at Old Trafford in a 4-4 draw made him the first Everton player to net in five successive away games since the late 70s. The Croat finished the 2011/12 season as the Toffees’ leading scorer both overall and in the Premiership, even though he missed more than half of their games. Despite a strong start to the following season, scoring three goals in his first six appearances, Jelavić struggled to sustain his earlier form. His subsequent 16 starts harvested a meagre two goals in a run which reduced his role at the club to ‘squad player’, as evidenced by a downturn in minutes over the final 15 league games of the season – in 11 sub appearances he produced just one solitary strike.

Unfortunately, this season has continued in the same vein. The arrival of loanee Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea made game time for the former record-breaker even harder to nail down and, despite scoring twice in limited game time over the first five fixtures of the season, Jelavić quickly found himself warming the bench, as new manager Roberto Martinez reshaped the club’s playing style. In Everton’s last 16 league games, the Croatian international has worn the jersey for just 50 minutes, appearing off the bench on four occasions.

The Prospects

One look at the statistics shows the Tigers desperately require a proven goalscorer in order to boost their bid for top-flight safety. They may be sitting tenth in the table right now but that’s only half the story – for all their impressive home performances, Bruce’s side are a mere six points off the bottom of the table with 17 games to go. Indeed, putting their 6-0 thrashing of Fulham in Gameweek 19 to one side, Hull have notched 16 times in the other 20 matches and have scored more than a single goal on just four occasions.

It’s not a new issue, either. The Tigers achieved promotion last season almost in spite of their lacklustre attack, with Robert Koren finishing the 2012/13 campaign as their most prolific goalscorer with nine goals to his name. The situation has worsened this time around. Despite failing to net the net since Gameweek 6, the injured Robbie Brady is still Hull’s leading scorer on three goals – up front, Yannick Sagbo’s two strikes from 19 appearances makes him the most clinical amongst Bruce’s forward options.

Jelavić looks a guaranteed starter alongside Long in Bruce’s default 3-5-2 formation, then, as the Hull boss adds plenty of top-flight know-how to his forward line. The downside, though, is his price tag across the Fantasy games. Jelavić comes in at 6.9 in Fantasy Premier League, 8.0 in the Sky Sports game and 3.0 in the Sun Dream Team, which, for a Hull striker, is likely to deter the vast majority of Fantasy managers. With games against Norwich, Palace and Sunderland in the next four Gameweeks, though, the Croat has the schedule to hit the ground running as he looks to continue the form which saw him bag that aforementioned FA Cup brace against QPR earlier this month.

The likes of Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore may benefit if the new frontman can replicate the displays that made him Fantasy gold in his first few months at Goodison. Both midfielders have teed up chances aplenty for their team-mates and, with a penalty box predator like Jelavić around to help supply an end product, their Fantasy potential – along with Hull’s survival prospects – could be set to take a turn for the better.

Further Reference

Nikica Jelavić Wikipedia

Nikica Jelavić Statistics

Nikica Jelavić YouTube Highlights

Nikica Jelavić Hull City Press Conference

7shadesofsmoke The Prodigal Son. Former UEFA World Cup captain with Costa Rica and Team India manager at the FFS Hockey World Cup.” Follow him on Twitter

830 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Randell
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Rooney..

    Should I sell him @ 11.1 ? (current price 11.4) just short term for the next 2 GW ?
    Do you think he will drop a whole 0,3 ?

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    1. ManofKent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Probably will drop another .1 or .2 I'd sell..

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    2. 4-4-who?
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Yep. Keep him.

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    3. Ricky - passed with flying …
      3 years, 11 months ago

      i have done . may get in a few weeks. hes not far off droping tonight [on 82.2 atm]

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  2. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Fellaini back next week

    so that's David Moyes' new signing

    🙄

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  3. Tim Canterbury
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Scout picks coming

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  4. Jim
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Giroud to rip it up tomorrow. Focal point of an attack vs a dreadful ageing Fulham team. Admit nothing is certain but no better time to back him. Capt? No chance Suarez all the way!

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  5. ManofKent
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Any love for Cahill?

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  6. 1966 was a great year for E…
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Is Wilshere, Silva and Aguero too much risk this week for a WC team?

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    1. royals forever
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Why is Wilshere a risk?

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      1. ManofKent
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 years, 11 months ago

        Didn't train apparently

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      2. 1966 was a great year for E…
        3 years, 11 months ago

        Apparently didn't train today. Not particularly worried about that in isolation, but with Silva and Aguero as well...

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  7. royals forever
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Who do you think is the best alternative to have instead of Silva out of Navas or Fernandinho

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    1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Navas for sure

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    2. Ricky - passed with flying …
      3 years, 11 months ago

      navas

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    3. SamH123
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Navas and it's not even that close
      I think Navas gametime reasonably assured with Nasri out

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    4. ManofKent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Navas - Fernadinho is a good player but not fpl wise

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  8. Heydudes13
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Oh ****ing hell now Wilshere's a doubt. 🙄

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    1. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Might be ok, just reports he didn't train today.

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    2. Wild Rover
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      The snowball is rolling 🙂

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  9. joinho
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    I'm playing my WC next week and haven't used my free yet so nothing to gain in saving it, but can't decide if I actually need to make any changes? (Team linked)

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    1. swervinho
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Mannone?

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  10. Chris_White
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    I'm literally going to cry if we don't beat United this weekend

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    1. LewanGOALski
      3 years, 11 months ago

      personally I can't see it not happening

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      1. Chris_White
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 years, 11 months ago

        ...and that's when it usually happens 🙁

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    2. Wild Rover
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      You won't need the tissue, not to cry into anyway 🙂

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      1. Chris_White
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        3 years, 11 months ago

        You know me too well 😉

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  11. TheSharpeEnd
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Play Ward or Shaw?

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  12. pundit of punts
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Scout picks prediction

    Ruddy
    Mert,Kolarov,Gabbidon
    Silva,Ozil,Wilshere,Hazard
    Suarez,Negredo,Sturridge

    Bardsley,Adam,Hooper

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  13. JK - Grabbangladesh Manager…
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    SCOUT PICKS

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  14. super zlatan
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Giroud or Sturridge lads ??

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    1. The Brown Casanova
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Giroud for me, Zlat.

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  15. Caibarhaw
    3 years, 11 months ago

    WC team?

    Boruc, Davies,
    Coleman, Mertesacker, Terry, Kolarov, 3.9 def.
    Hazard, Eriksen, Ramsey, Lallana, Gerrard,
    Suarez, Aguero, Giroud/Sturridge

    Have chosen a flexible team - could play either 3-5-2, 3-4-3, 4-4-2 or whatever depending on fixtures.

    Wise choice?

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    1. ManofKent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      I like it

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    2. TheSharpeEnd
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Have you got a £58574388.4m TV?!

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  16. Art Vandelay
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    I am pretty close to maybe giving Negredo the possibility of being captain...

    Surely with SAS and S, I am pretty well covered in the Liverpool game.

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    1. Jim
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Take a look at Suarez scores

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  17. Lizard Lips
    3 years, 11 months ago

    No keeper. Going to use my FT for a keeper under 5.4. Will be in sticks for 1 or 2 weeks. Thinking Speroni, anyone got any better ideas?

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    1. Ricky - passed with flying …
      3 years, 11 months ago

      for 2 weeks. speroni, nice fixtures

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    2. ManofKent
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      3 years, 11 months ago

      Mannone? Speroni's good though.

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  18. New Article Posted
  19. Mr Sarcastic
    3 years, 11 months ago

    How Many hours until price changes?

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  20. Acquafresca
    3 years, 11 months ago

    With Pellegrini's comment on Aguero do we expect him to start or have a cameo role?

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  21. BobB
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Not sure. He's in my team for sure, but not captain with Suarez at home to Villa

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  22. SMOOTH
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 11 months ago

    kolarov and januzaj (5th mid) or zabaleta and noone

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  23. tomsef
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Play cabaye or sterling?

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  24. Tronity
    3 years, 11 months ago

    Any help appreciated on my WC team:

    Mannone
    Kolarov, Azpilicueta, Coleman
    Lallana, Hazard, Eriksen, Ozil,
    Aguero, Suarez, Adebayor

    Davis, Chester, Whittaker, Tiote

    0 in the bank

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  25. GOONER
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Choose 1 out of these players for this GW:

    Oscar, Lambert, Welbeck, Jelavic

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  26. Phaze 1
    3 years, 10 months ago

    Is FPL getting harder in general?

    Those of you who were lucky enough to find online poker around 10 years ago will tell you how easy it was to make money as almost everyone was a fish. Your mum could make good money by just understanding the rules but now its a totally different game. You need to actually be pretty good to make money as things like poker training sites popped up and started teaching everyone how to play. I think the same could be happening with FPL but not to that scale as there isn't much money in FPL.

    I think all the good FPL blogs and sites like this are slowly raising the average skill level in this game and making its harder to move up the ranks if you start very badly. Anyone around when FPL first started have a view on how the game has come along? I'm having a shocker but thats not really why I'm asking. Those around me just seem to have less obv mistakes in their squads than in previous years. Well thats how it seems anyways and was wondering what you guys thought of it?

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  27. Hit Factory
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    3 years, 8 months ago

    :-O

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