Martinez pragmatic over Jelavic

, 5 January, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Striker hoping for more chances

Roberto Martinez admits that he doesn't want to sell Nikica Jelavic this month but realises the crossroads at which the striker finds himself as he weighs his desire to play for Croatia in the World Cup this summer against fighting to reclaim his starting berth at Everton.

The 28 year-old has only started two games for Everton this season after losing his place in the Blues' starting XI last season thanks to his own goalscoring drought, one that extends deep into last season, and the form of Romelu Lukaku.

Jelavic arrived at Goodison with a bang in January 2012, scoring a glut of goals that helped the Blues finish seventh and reach the FA Cup semi-finals and featured for his country at Euro2012.

Unfortunately, his first-team chances for both club and country have dwindled as his goals have dried up and he is aware of the need to prove himself again if he hopes to be part of Croatia's party that travels to Brazil. That may require a move away from Goodison Park where he can play week in, week out.

Martinez is cognisant of Jelavic's need to play regular first-team football and says that it is therefore only right that he consider any realistic offers for the former Rangers striker. Queens Park Rangers and West Ham have been credited with interest in him but no firm offers have been received and no formal talks have begun with either club.

I don't want to sell him," the Spaniard says. "I don't want to lose him now, but I understand it is a key moment for him.

Put it this way - if the World Cup was not in the summer, this situation would never be in place.

It (any move) will not be a loan situation. That wouldn't allow us to replace Jela at all, so I don't think that would be right for us. It has to work for the player, but more importantly, for us as a squad.

The only possibility would be a permanent move that would allow us to bring another striker in, so we are able to be as strong as we are with Jela.

Martinez was pleased with Jelavic's display against QPR in the FA Cup yesterday, though. The striker scored twice and would have bagged his first Everton hat-trick had his audacious chip dropped under the crossbar rather bounce off it.

[His performance] was very, very good," his manager said. "He is a bit frustrated that he couldn't get the hat-trick - I did feel his performance deserved it.

I thought he looked very sharp and that his movement was terrific in the box.

He showed that he has been working really well in training and that he has been frustrated with a lack of minutes due to the great form of Romelu Lukaku.

To see him on the pitch and enjoying his football, scoring two goals and performing like that, is very pleasing.

For his part, Jelavic is prepared to see what happens this month and remains hopeful that he will get more chances under Martinez this season.

It's been difficult. But Rom is on fire – I'm delighted for him if I'm being honest. I'm training hard and every day I have been waiting for my chance.

"Now the manager saw that he can count on me as well, so we will see. We will see in the end but I hope he is going to give me more chances.

 



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