Everton’s manager Roberto Martinez has informed Nikica Jelavic that he is free to leave the club in the January transfer window.
The 28-year old Croatian internationalist spent two successful seasons at Ibrox netting 36 goals in his 55 appearances for Rangers. He joined Everton in January 2012 & was an instant success. He scored nine goals in his first half-season with the club & was a regular under David Moyes.
Back in the summer, it became clear that Jelavic would not feature regularly for Martinez & reports had him linked to a move to the Bundesliga. Clearly that fell through but it was a sign that his time with Everton was likely coming to an end.
However, Jelavic has only made seven appearances this season under Roberto Martinez & the manager is cognizant of Jelavic’s need to get regular first team football ahead of the World Cup.
Via The Liverpool Echo, Martinez said, “It’s fair to say that as a football club we understand Niki and Johnny Heitinga’s positions. “They’ve been such great professionals for us that we need to make sure we look at it from their point of view.”
“It’s a World Cup year and we need to understand that. From the club’s point of view too, though, we need to make sure we get the right balance.”
“If they are here (after January) I’ll be delighted because they bring more than just when they play. They have a massive influence on what we do on a daily basis even when they’re not playing.”
“But if there is an opportunity which works for them then we need to look into it. We can’t weaken the squad though. That’s the balancing act. But we have to be open-minded – they deserve that.”
Jelavic is now seen as a fringe player who adds depth to the Toffees. If Martinez can find players to replace that depth Jelavic will be on the move. It is a classy move by Martinez to sympathize with Jelavic’s plight as he prepares to secure a place in the World Cup.
It will be interesting to see where Jelavic ends up. At 28 years old he clearly has a few strong years ahead of him.