Sunday, 27 May 2012

Jelavic proves PL credentials

There are not too many strikers who make the transition from the Scottish Premier League to the top flight south of the border but there is no question Nikica Jelavic has taken to life in England like a duck to water.

The former Glasgow Rangers forward was snapped up by Everton boss David Moyes for just £5.5m, as he made one of the best signings of the January transfer window, alongside Papiss Cisse’s move to Newcastle United from SC Freiburg.

Jelavic helped his club secure some thrilling football scores, including a 4-4 draw with Manchester United during the latter stages of the season.

Although just over £5m is not a massive amount for some teams in the Premier League, it was a fair sum for the Toffees, who have had well documented financial troubles at Goodison Park over recent years.

However Jelavic has already proved himself to be a bargain, as he bagged 11 goals in 16 matches to help the club finish above their city rivals Liverpool in the table last season.

Now the 26-year-old is looking to build on his bright start and develop his game into next season, with the club desperate to end their long wait for silverware, which is yet to come in Moyes’ 10 years at Goodison Park.

His progress has been so quick that Jelavic could find himself among the top scorer betting selections when the countdown to the new Premier League season begins.

The Croatian told newspaper Sportske Novosti: "When I signed for Everton I was sure that I would have some problems with the English league as it is harder than the Scottish one.

"I didn't know what to expect. I was a little bit afraid that I might have some problems, but that was not the case.

"Everything is just great - my first season at Everton couldn't be better.”