When Everton spent a whopping £25million to bring Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie to Goodison Park, many Toffees fans were up in arms about their club frittering away such large sums of cash on a volatile and unpredictable player. This was a significant chunk of the John Stones money for a man who only managed to muster 5 goals and 3 assists in the previous campaign. The DR Congo player had showed flashes of brilliance (see video below) while at Selhurst Park, but he needs to raise his game a fair few notches to justify the enormous price-tag. After eleven appearances for the Merseyside club, there have been some slight improvements. The question is, is it enough?
Ronald Koeman has proven his worth in the Premier League, and Everton fans should respect his decisions. But it must have hurt to see the Dutchman’s old Southampton charge, Sadio Mane, move to the wrong side of Liverpool in a transfer that only cost £5million more than the Bolasie move. The 24-year-old has scored 6 goals and created 2 this season at Anfield, with a 67% shot accuracy. It was Koeman that signed the Senegalese forward and moulded him into the devastating attacker he is today. So why didn’t he attempt to bring Mane with him to Everton?
Hopefully the answer to that is that Koeman believes Bolasie to have the potential to be a stronger force than Mane, and a player who will link up with Romelu Lukaku more effectively. Certainly, the early signs suggest that Bolasie could become a key player in this Everton side, and the partnership with Everton’s sharpshooting striker is beginning to blossom.Comparing Bolasie’s average stats courtesy of Fantasy Football Scout this season with last, the player has made vast improvements in his involvement and distribution going forward. The 27-year-old is averaging 26.6 touches in the final third, up from 25.7 last season, the amount of passes he receives in the opponents half is up to 21 from 19.3, and he is completing 53.4% of dribbles, up from 47.5% last term. The biggest enhancement in Bolasie’s game from last time out is his goal involvement of 41.7%, from 26.7% in the previous campaign.
While Lukaku continues to be Everton’s main threat in front of goal, Bolasie has the potential to become an assist master. His distribution is clearly on the up for the Blues. Last season Bolasie had a pass success rate of 72.8% in the final third and 18.1% of his crosses met their intended target. This time he has a pass completion rate of 80.2% and his crosses are at 22.7%. This season the former Palace man is creating a chance every 52.3 minutes, whereas last season he set up a goal scoring opportunity every 95.2 minutes. He has also added through balls to his game, with 3 so far and none in the entirety of his previous campaign.
The evidence of Bolasie’s stock rising is there to see, but there are also a number of other factors to take into consideration. He is now playing in a top six challenging side, rather than a team that frequently languishes in the wrong half of the table. The winger also has the opportunity to tee up a highly prolific striker now, whereas at Palace he didn’t have a traditional centre-forward to get on the end of his crosses and passes. Everton are at home to Swansea this weekend, which would be the ideal opportunity for this partnership to thrive. It will be interesting to see if some of the football tipsters go with Lukaku to score a couple this weekend, given he’s already scored a hat-trick against Middlesbrough at home this season.
Although there are other players that could push Bolasie out of the starting XI, namely Aaron Lennon and Gerard Deulofeu, due to the fact that the club forked out so much money for the player it is likely that Koeman will continue to favour him in the right-wing role. But the manager wants his new signing to add more goals to his game. A secure place in the side should give Bolasie enough time to grow, and hopefully fulfil the potential that his past glimmers of brilliance have suggested he possesses.
Reader Comments (21)
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1 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:40:49
We could have ended up with Sissoko...
2 Posted 11/11/2016 at 09:23:22
3 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:36:56
2015-16 - 26 Apps, 5 goals
2014-15 - 34 Apps, 4 goals
2013-14 - 29 Apps, 0 goals,
2012-13 - 45 Apps, 3 goals, 8 assists in the Championship
Compare to Mirallas, mindful that a good number of MIrallas appearances were as a sub.
2015-16 - 23 Apps, 4 goals
2014-15 - 29 Apps, 7 goals
2013-14 - 32 Apps, 9 goals,
2012-13 - 27 Apps, 6 goals,
Premier League official site stats tables show that Bolasie is 5th in number of crosses with 66. Mirallas is 15th with 48. Townsend 1st with 89. Bolasie is also = 6th with 4 assists. Make of that what you will...
I really hope that Bolasie finds and maintains that form he's so often displayed against us... and that Koeman is concerned enough to give him the occasional kick up the backside to ensure he stays focused. We need Bolasie to be at his very best to have any chance of success and, for £28m, we have every right to expect his best.
4 Posted 11/11/2016 at 16:26:24
5 Posted 11/11/2016 at 18:29:56
6 Posted 12/11/2016 at 04:13:08
7 Posted 12/11/2016 at 05:53:34
And it sure is great to have the one thing we lacked most in recent seasons... pure, blazing speed.
8 Posted 12/11/2016 at 07:19:32
I've been a supporter of Mirallas for a long time but right now I don't see how he can hold down a first-team place. Barkley too... but it seems we have nobody else even vying for that central attacking berth.
Bolasie can go on the left and Lennon (who has barely had a poor game in an Everton shirt) can play wide right. Deulofeu through the centre? Or even Tom Davies.
All-in-all, I'm feeling very down on all things Everton at the moment. Even the West Ham win relied heavily on their missed chances. There's something really not quite right at the club.
9 Posted 12/11/2016 at 08:48:37
I think we've lost our mojo. We need someone to help us get it back.
10 Posted 12/11/2016 at 09:31:28
11 Posted 12/11/2016 at 16:34:55
I suppose those tackles against Man City and West Ham Utd can be construed as assist's.. but creative?
That fella who used to take the long throw-ins for Stoke created more chances than Bolasie. I suppose he was creative too...
12 Posted 12/11/2016 at 21:32:21
13 Posted 13/11/2016 at 13:32:48
14 Posted 14/11/2016 at 09:42:10
15 Posted 15/11/2016 at 11:18:43
16 Posted 16/11/2016 at 09:41:59
Bolasie has stepped his game up too, he is working hard, that's how he's been credited with his tackles becoming assists, could anyone see Deulofeu making that challenge vs West Ham?
Bolasie is frustrating, but he's made decent chances in every game this season apart from the Chelsea game, he should only be judged on his here and now, not on his past as we have already signed him so its pointless picking out his past stats.
I do feel we as a group on ToffeeWeb seem to find reason to slate our most important players, always finding reasons to give them shit.
Ross is another one we do this with, but I think we have to look at the players who offer nothing all the time first before moaning about Ross, Rom, Bolasie and Co.
Deulofeu, Lennon and Mirallas all play in Bolasie's position, surely we should be moaning about them before criticising Bolasie!
Everything Everton is a little dull ATM, partly down to 1 win in 7, partly down to getting hammered by Chelsea, but mostly down to Koeman talking shite all the time.
17 Posted 16/11/2016 at 12:22:10
Hope we see a few more of these.
18 Posted 16/11/2016 at 14:16:37
But it was an intended cross to me.
19 Posted 16/11/2016 at 14:37:22
His performances have looked okay partly because of some of them being okay, partly because we're comparing him to Mirallas and Deulofeu, and partly because we've played some poor enough teams.
Still, I'd stick him on the left and give Lennon his bloody chance on the right.
20 Posted 17/11/2016 at 14:38:46
He seems to have a strong connection with Rom already and, if he continues to set him up for more goals, it will be another reason for Rom to stay. He's a lot better than Mirallas and even Pienaar in my opinion but you got to remember that a player who takes men on as much as he does will often lose the ball. It's always been the same with wingers.
The price tag seemed high at the time for a guy that doesn't seem to score a lot of goals compared to Mané but prices this summer really went crazy. I too would always play him on the left but we really need another right-sided player to score goals regularly.
21 Posted 17/11/2016 at 14:56:03
But, for example, in a game where you're behind and you need your wingers to get the ball in the box, it's hugely frustrating, at times, to watch Bolasie slow the ball down enabling a team to double up on him instead of just trying to beat his man.
I think we're entitled to be a little more critical of a signing when he cost so much. I know it's not the player's fault that he cost what he did, so the criticism is directed at Koeman just as much as Bolasie.
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