Everton are currently enduring a miserable run of form under manager Frank Lampard, with the Merseysiders having found themselves firmly in a scrap for survival for the second season running.
A notable issue for the Toffees this season has been their shortcomings in an attacking sense, with the Goodison Park outfit having scored just 15 goals in 19 league games to date.
In truth, while Dominic Calvert-Lewin did enjoy a brief, prolific spell as the leading man through the middle in the past – notably scoring 16 league goals in the 2020/21 campaign – the club have arguably never truly filled the void of Romelu Lukaku in the attacking ranks.
The Belgian sensation scored 87 goals in just 166 games after initially joining on loan from Chelsea back in the summer of 2013, hitting double figures in each of his four league seasons at the club.
That included a haul of 25 goals in the top tier during the 2016/17 campaign, with that clinical form unsurprisingly seeing the 6 foot 3 ace secure a £75m switch to Manchester United that summer.
Trying to replace such a ruthless asset has proven particularly difficult in recent years, although Lampard and co could well have finally identified a suitable heir in the form of Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata, with the Daily Mail naming Everton as one of the clubs interested in the Colombian marksman – who could command a fee of around £25m.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – has now revealed that while a move for the 31-year-old could prove difficult to complete due to differences over the nature of the deal, the Merseyside outfit are set to continue talks regarding a January switch.
The transfer insider stated: “Zapata is not easy too because they’re offering a loan with an option to buy, and Atalanta want a permanent move for Zapata. So, there will be more conversations between Everton and Atalanta about this Colombian striker.”
The goalscoring “machine” – as lauded by journalist Raj Chohan – would certainly be able to match Lukaku in being a physical focal point due to his 6 foot 2 frame, having been praised by ex-teammate Papu Gomez, who stated:
“Zapata’s shorts look like underwear, he is so big. Sometimes I don’t even want to get close to him in a match because he’s a beast and it hurts.”
The £57k-per-week sensation is not just a mere battering ram in attack, however, with the experienced centre-forward also making the difference when it matters in the final third.
Although the 34-cap hotshot has scored just once in an injury-hit campaign in Serie A, he has typically been a reliable presence in front of goal in recent years, with 80 goals and 40 assists in 174 games for the Bergamo-based outfit.
The one-time Napoli ace may not be able to provide Premier League experience, although the hope would be that he can help propel Lampard and co to safety in the second half of the season, while also filling the hole that was left by Lukaku just over five years ago.