Everton transfer business really poor, says Tony Cottee
By Zinny Boswell
Last Updated: 23/11/17 12:20pm
Everton's slow start to the season is down to their failure to replace Romelu Lukaku, says former player Tony Cottee.
Lukaku, who was sold to Manchester United for an initial fee of £75m, was Everton's top scorer last season and finished the campaign with 32 goals in all competitions.
Everton spent £152.9m in the summer, but Ronald Koeman failed to secure a recognised striker to replace the Belgium international. They have scored only 12 goals in their opening 12 league games, leaving them just three points above the relegation zone.
Cottee says Everton's poor performance in the transfer market has contributed to their poor start to the season and they will be hoping to change that against Southampton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Premier League.
"The transfer strategy was really poor from Everton's point of view, particularly with the Lukaku money," Cottee told Premier League Daily.
"I've said it before, you get £75m and you lose your 25-goal-a-season goalscorer and you buy three no.10's but you're not buying a centre forward.
"What was wrong with Chris Wood? What was wrong with Andre Gray? Alright, they aren't guaranteed Premier League goalscorers but they are centre-forwards who can lead the line.
"Everton don't have a focal point and that puts pressure on the rest of the team."
Despite bringing in 13 players to the club this season, Cottee does not think any of the players in the current squad can offer a solution to the striker-problem.
"I don't think the solution is there. I mean you've got Calvert-Lewin, who is a good young player and you might have to let him lead the line," he added.
"I don't think Rooney can play that role now, Calvert-Lewin is the one you've got to let do it. But it's a big problem for the club and it's not something they can solve now."