Everton made a mistake not securing the signing of Fernando Llorente to replace Romelu Lukaku, according to former midfielder Peter Reid. The Toffees have struggled for goals this season, mustering just four in their seven Premier League games, after acquiring Wayne Rooney and Sandro Ramirez during the summer.
Llorente swapped Swansea City for Tottenham Hotspur on deadline day in the summer transfer window in a deal worth £12.1m, according to Sky Sports, after turning down a move to Chelsea. The ex-Juventus forward has however failed to register for his new club, making just five appearances centrally as the back-up to top scorer Harry Kane.
Ronald Koeman staged a mass overhaul in the summer with 14 new signings though the Dutchman has failed to blend the new arrivals with his existing squad leading to just two top flight wins and an early place in the bottom five. And Reid says that with Lukaku's exit expected in the summer the Everton hierarchy should have made a more decisive move for Llorente six months previously.
"I think last January, it was common knowledge that Lukaku was going," Reid said, according to the Liverpool Echo. "So I found it strange that they didn't get a recognised striker in, as hard as it might have been. They should have gone and got one in.
"If Giroud wouldn't come, Fernando Llorente was available and he'd have done for me. Llorente was gettable, so they are out there. Steve Walsh is in there recruiting players, Ronald Koeman is there. They've got contacts. They've got to get one in. Steve Walsh found them for Leicester. Any chance of getting one for Everton?"
The Merseysiders were linked with a move for Llorente in the dying embers of the transfer window before he completed his move to Tottenham following a late intervention by Mauricio Pochettino. Though Llorente is yet to open his account for Spurs, the success of Lukaku at United has rubbed salt in the Everton wounds with 11 goals in 10 games for Jose Mourinho's side.
While Everton failed to bring in an out-and-out stand-in for Lukaku, they appear overstocked in the number 10 position where Rooney, Davy Klassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson are all competing for a place. Ex-England international Reid believes this highlights the club's misguided approach in the summer.
"Let's just say, I think Klaassen and Sigurdsson are similar, so why not just go and get a striker?" he added. "And you wouldn't call Wayne a front man, and I'm a big Wayne Rooney fan. You shouldn't keep keep buying similar players in my opinion."