Amidst the flurry of excitement on deadline day, there were a number of transfers that failed to get over the line. Everton’s attempts to sign Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar were unfortunately thwarted but will the Toffees submit a second bid when the transfer window re-opens at the beginning of 2018?
Ronald Koeman wasn’t the only Premier League manager who was interested in the services of the 24-year-old with Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion also lodging a bid at the end of August. The Seagulls’ €13 million offer was rejected by the Serie A side, with the player admitting he wants to fight for his place in Florence during the first half of the campaign.
Babacar netted 14 times in all competitions last season, featuring on 31 occasions under the stewardship of Paulo Sousa. The Portuguese coach failed to win over the home fans, with his side regularly faltering against lower ranked sides and eventually finishing outside of the European spots. The Viola were also knocked out of the Europa League at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach.
Stefan Pioli was appointed as head coach during the summer but the former Inter boss hasn’t started the Senegalese striker in either of their two opening Serie A clashes. Babacar has played just 45 minutes in total during Fiorentina’s consecutive defeats at the hands of Sampdoria and Inter.
The forward’s experience in European competition is extremely desirable and with Everton competing in the Europa League this season, he may have proved a very useful addition. The Toffees have been drawn in a group with Lyon, Apollon Limassol and Atalanta and if they progress and reach the knock-out stages, it may help persuade Babacar consider a move to Merseyside.
The Toffees added a number of players to their squad during the summer months with Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sandro Ramirez, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaasen and Michael Keane all arriving at Goodison Park but some fans believe the club failed to adequately replace the goals of Romelu Lukaku who joined Manchester United for £75 million.
Koeman’s side have netted just two goals in their opening three matches, with Wayne Rooney netting on both occasions and the lack of a genuinely prolific striker may prevent them breaking into the top six. Everton are likely to be a staple of many weekly accumulators and sites such as Sports Predictor offer regular football betting tips from a number of experienced professionals in all of the major European competitions. The Toffees are likely to start as well-backed favourites at Goodison Park this season and will be hard to oppose against lower-half sides.
Everton will be keeping a close eye on Babacar over the next couple of months as they weigh up the possibility of launching a second bid in January. The frontman may have to play second fiddle to new signing Giovanni Simeone and his lack of game-time may gradually push him towards the exit at Stadio Artemio Franchi. The Merseysiders have money to spend and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri said the club may need to strengthen further in January. Don’t be surprised if the club return for Babacar in January as they aim to bolster their attacking options ahead of a hectic second half of the season.