David Moyes heaps praise on Everton striker Nikica Jelavić
Everton manager David Moyes hails the impact of Croatia striker Nikica Jelavić since moving to Goodison Park in January
David Moyes has hailed Nikica Jelavić’s impact at Everton since the Croatia striker’s move to Goodison Park in January.
The 26-year-old scored nine goals in 10 Premier League game after completing a £7m move to Merseyside from Rangers during the winter transfer window.
Jelavić’s performances were certainly eye-catching but Moyes believes the striker also managed to get the best out of his team-mates as Everton finished the season in seventh place, ahead of their derby rivals Liverpool.
“What Jelavić did was make every player about 10 per cent better,” Moyes told Everton’s website.
“Every one of them knew they could play the ball into the box and we would have a chance of scoring. They could use him to link up and he gave us a great lift.”
David Weir played alongside Jelavić at Rangers for one season as the Glasgow outfit won the Scottish Premier League title in 2011, and Moyes revealed the former Toffees defender convinced his former manager to bring the Croatia international to Everton.
“A little while ago Jelavić looked as if he would be nine or £10m from Rangers which we wouldn’t have been able to afford,” added Moyes.
“I watched him twice for Rangers against Celtic and wasn’t entirely sure, he hadn’t played that well in the games.
“But I brought David Weir back into the club and he kept talking to me about him and in the end we rustled up the cash.
“It was about £5m after [Diniyar] Bilyaletdinov went back to Russia, and I have to say he has been great. He is what Everton needed – we really needed a centre forward.
“He has exceeded expectations. You buy someone like that and what could you sell him for? I assure you we are not going to do that but if we did then it would give us a great turnaround.
“But what we want to do is build a good team at Everton. We have done (in the past) and we will continue to do so.”