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Monday 16 July 2018

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Allardyce on striker hunt in January window

Sam Allardyce's Everton have drawn their last two games 0-0
Sam Allardyce's Everton have drawn their last two games 0-0

Sam Allardyce has emphasised the importance of Everton strengthening their striker department in the January transfer window.

The Merseyside outfit, who sold Romelu Lukaku over the summer, have frequently struggled in terms of goalscoring this season and their last two games have ended 0-0.

It was reported this week they are interested in Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun.

And when asked on Friday about being linked with the 26-year-old Turkey international, Toffees boss Allardyce said: "Him and many others, because we need a frontman if we can find one.

"We would be actively looking for a frontman in this window because I need more goals in the side than we have at the moment if we are to just maintain our position.

"As we can all see, we've started to struggle to create chances and score goals in recent matches, so it's still one of the major problems we have at the club.

"We've got more penalties than anybody else in the Premier League, which has contributed to a few points. That won't always happen.

"So we need to strengthen in our goalscoring areas, and that's, for me, new players.

"Players already here, like Sandro (Ramirez), haven't picked up the pace of the Premier League - he hasn't been able to show what he showed in Spain.

"I think Oumar (Niasse), while he has scored, hasn't made a regular place in the Everton side.

"And young (Dominic) Calvert-Lewin is battling away. I think he's got a bright future, but I don't think we can rely on him week in and week out at the moment."

Sandro has not scored a league goal since joining from Malaga in July, while Niasse and Calvert-Lewin have netted five and three respectively this season.

Ninth-placed Everton's current top scorer is Wayne Rooney, who has netted 10 times in the league.

The 32-year-old missed the goalless draws against Chelsea last Saturday and at West Brom on Boxing Day due to illness but has recovered in time for Saturday's trip to Bournemouth, which Everton go into having played six league games so far under Allardyce and not lost one of them.

James McCarthy, sidelined since October by a hamstring injury, should be fit for selection but Idrissa Gueye (hamstring) remains a doubt.

While Ross Barkley (knee) does not look set to be involved, Allardyce said he is "very, very close to being available".

Leighton Baines (calf) is still out after a setback in his rehabilitation.

And regarding Seamus Coleman (broken leg), Allardyce said: "He's out running with the rehab lads, twisting and turning, not really doing any more than that at this moment. He's progressing nicely.

"We have a new machine in that's the latest in the market, and he's a little bit of a guinea pig on that.

"It seems to be working, to speed up the recovery process, and there's a few more players who'll test it out. I would've thought by the results at the moment, we'll be purchasing one!"

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