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What’s happened to Nikica Jelavic?

There are two types of strikers in football – the link-up man and the goalscorer, or the number 10 and number 9. Everton front-man Nikica Jelavic is a player that certainly ticks the box of the latter. The Croatian arrived at Goodison Park a little under 12 months ago and fans instantaneously took him to their hearts.

Jelavic came into the Toffees starting XI in blistering form for the second half of last season, netting 11 in 16 appearances in all competitions. His goals fired the Toffees to a seventh place finish and took them within touching distance of a spot in the FA Cup final last summer, with the 27-year-old possessing similar attributes as Pipo ‘Born Offside’ Inzaghi.

However, this season hasn’t turned out to be as prolific for the Yugoslavia-born striker. With Everton harbouring hopes of securing a top four finish, many had looked to the front-man to provide the necessary goals to fire the club into the Champions League.

Instead, Jelavic has taken a backwards step in terms of goal getting, striking just seven times in 24 games as Everton’s form has stagnated somewhat in recent weeks. With Kevin Mirallas’ return to fitness, there is the distinct possibility that ‘The Jelly’ could be relegated to the bench in order to accommodate the Belgian, who has linked with better with Victor Anichebe when the pairing have been on the pitch.

Either way, Everton manager David Moyes and fans alike will be hoping the striker can find his goalscoring touch again sooner rather than later as the Toffees go in search of a place in Europe once again.