JEFFERS TO FIRE TOFFEE'S OUT OF STICKY SITUATION
By Rupert Webster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Before the ankle injury that he suffered in September, Jeffers was one of The Premiership's most in-form forwards. He had grabbed five goals in the opening five games of the season and was being tipped for full international honours.
Indeed, despite missing so much of the season through that injury, Jeffers is still the top scorer in Walter Smith's side and as he regains fitness, it seems likely that he will help the club out of their current position of 15th place in the Premiership.
Of all the division's top goalscorers, few can match Jeffers prolific record in front of goal. He has scored one goal for every 115 minutes that he has played, a return that only Manchester United's Teddy Sheringham and Leeds' Robbie Keane can better.
When considering that the next most potent forwards in The Premiership are United's Andy Cole (with a goal every 119 minutes), Chelsea's Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (126 minutes), and Arsenal's Thierry Henry (134 minutes), Jeffers' record looks even more impressive. All the other players have scored their goals with sides who have been hugely prolific throughout the campaign, something that could not be said of Smith's Everton.
The reason why Jeffers has been so successful is simple; he rarely wastes chances. The 20-year-old has hit the target with an incredible 77% of his shots, which is a far superior ratio than other forwards such as Emile Heskey, Henry and Hasselbaink have managed, and is second only to Keane's 79%.
With Everton out of the FA Cup, Jeffers has another week in which to regain some of his match fitness before The Toffees next game against Ipswich Town.
Ironically enough, the last time these teams met was the first league game that Jeffers missed through injury, a game that Everton lost 3-0. But if the young forward can repeat the form that he has shown so far this season, he should be able to help his side pose more of a threat to Ipswich this time around, and the rest of the Premiership during the remainder of the campaign.