|Joined on||31 January 2012|
|Joined from||Glasgow Rangers|
|Signed by||David Moyes|
|Debut as sub||v Wigan Athletic (A)
4 February 2012
|Full debut||v Tottenham (H)
10 March 2012
|Contract duration||4½ years|
|Contract expires||June 2017|
|Date of birth||27 August 1985|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.87 m)|
|Nickname(s)||Nikky, Jelly, The Flying Fortress|
|Movement and workrate|
• Soccerbase Datafile
• Wikipedia Entry
With another confusingly poor first half to a Premier League campaign threatening a lost season at best and a relegation dogfight at worst, David Moyes was, by January 2012, in dire need of a proven goalscorer.
Ageing Talisman Tim Cahill was struggling through the worst goal drought of his career and despite enjoying his most injury-free run in the Blues' first team Louis Saha had seen his goals dry up almost entirely as well.
Though they sat 9th in the table going into 2012, Everton had lost two more games than they'd won and only Wigan Athletic had scored fewer goals in the top flight.
With finances tighter than ever under his tenure, Moyes freed up funds in the January transfer window with the sale of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and, after bringing in Darron Gibson from Manchester United for an initial outlay of just £250,000, he cast his eye to his homeland and Glasgow Rangers for a striker.
Born in the old Yugoslavia and a product of Croatian side Hajduk Split's youth system, Nikica Jelavić had only been at Ibrox for 18 months, having signed from Rapid Vienna for £4m in August 2010, but his impact in the Scottish Premier League was almost immediate.
In 56 appearances in all competitions he racked up 36 goals and had started to attract interest from England, with some reports suggesting that then Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish had turned down the chance to sign him in August 2011.
With the sudden revelation that the Scottish giants were on their knees financially, Moyes stepped in at the end of January 2012 with a £5.5m offer for the Croatian striker that Rangers could hardly refuse. Perhaps a sign of the magic he would soon bring to the front line, Jelavić was paraded before the faithful on transfer deadline day at half-time of the home game against eventual champions, Manchester City, a game that the Blues would win 1-0.
Concerns that he would either struggle or take time to make the step up from the SPL to the Premier League were quickly dispelled once Jelavić was able to get his Everton career underway.
After making his debut as a substitute in a 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic, a hip injury would keep him out of the team for the next two games but he returned as a sub at QPR in early March. Jelavić would mark his long-awaited home debut with a goal, though, scoring the winner against Tottenham with the kind of wonderfully controlled first-time finish that would become the hallmark of his introduction to English football.
Adding mobility, industry, movement and surprising aerial ability, Jelavić proved over the next three months that he was everything Everton had lacked, not only for almost all of Moyes's tenure but arguably going all the way back to the sale of Gary Lineker in 1986.
In 11 League starts, the 26 year-old scored 9 goals, 11 overall in 16 appearances in all competitions, including memorable FA Cup goals in the quarter-final replay at Sunderland and in doomed semi-final at Wembley against Liverpool.
In so doing, he became the fastest striker to reach double figures in Everton's history, reaching 10 goals in 910 minutes of playing time, and announced his himself as an instant Goodison hero.
In tandem with the form of returning favourite, Steven Pienaar, by the final 9 games of that season, Jelavić had helped transform a struggling team into a confident, free-scoring outfit that eventually finished seventh, ahead of rivals Liverpool.
Jelavić carried his goalscoring form into the European Championships in the summer of 2012, scoring with one of the few clear-cut chances that would come his way in a 3-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in Group B. He was unable to help Croatia beyond the Round of 16, though, and his country was eliminated at the group phase.
Last updated July 2012
|2011-12||7||10 (3)||9||3 (0)||2||13 (3)||11|
|2012-13||7||25 (6)||7||5 (1)||1||30 (7)||8|
|Totals||35 9)||16||8 (1)||3||43 (10)||19|
Note: Everton Career Stats on ToffeeWeb are updated after every game.