Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Martinez: Jelavic can be 'incredible' for Everton

The 27-year-old lost his place in the Toffees’ starting XI after a tough 2012-13 campaign, but after impressing in preseason, his new manager has tipped to become a hit again.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has backed Nikica Jelavic to become an "incredible asset" for the club after impressing in preseason.

Jelavic hit the ground running after joining the Toffees from Rangers in Jan. 2012, netting 11 goals in his first 16 appearances, but failed to replicate that form in his first full season at the club, scoring just eight times in 43 games.

However, after bagging three goals during preseason, including a strike against Spanish giant Real Madrid, Martinez is confident the Croatian will shine in the 2013-14 campaign.

"Niki is a goalscorer. When you see him scoring goals again it’s because he’s enjoying his football," Martinez told The Liverpool Echo.

"He’s been working really hard and physically he still has a little bit to get to 90 minutes. But it’s great to see Nikica coming back with that focus and desire to score goals and be himself. When you can score goals in the manner he has done he is going to be an incredible asset for us."

The former Wigan boss also revealed his delight at the number of attacking options at his disposal after adding Arouna Kone and highly-rated Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu.

"When you look at the competition for places we have in the forwards and it’s a real strength for the team," he added. "It can only be a good thing to have this strength in depth."