“HE is powerful, his play with his back to the game is very strong, he links up play very well.”
Victor Anichebe could have been forgiven for reading Robert Martinez’s words in the ECHO this week and thinking his new manager was describing him.
The Everton manager was, however, talking about Arouna Kone.
Anichebe returned to Finch Farm this week and spoke about needing to hit the ground running in order to impress the new boss.
But the 25-year-old’s challenge to keep hold of the starting shirt he finished last season with will become that much harder once Kone’s arrival is finalised.
Martinez went on to evaluate the Ivory Coast international as being able to “see a pass in the final third” and as a “clinical finisher”.
They are not attributes too often associated with Anichebe and by shelling out £6.5m on Kone, it appears Martinez has his main man up front.
The gauntlet has been thrown down to Everton’s strongman striker.
Last season was by far his most productive for the club.
In 32 appearances he bagged eight goals and served up some of his most complete and mature performances to date.
His goal put the seal on a win at Newcastle United, another got the Blues back into a game with West Ham United and his strike gave Everton something to hang on to in a baffling first half at home to Aston Villa.
And in a campaign when David Moyes could no longer rely on Nikica Jelavic to justify a starting position, Anichebe at least gave Everton a sense of direction up front.
But the man who poured his faith and patience into Anichebe is no longer at the club.
Moyes’s successor is certain to have an opinion on the Nigerian and, depending on who you believe, showed interest in taking him to Wigan last summer.
But gone is Anichebe’s safety net in Moyes.
The striker is now out on his own and like every other player at the club and has to prove himself all over again.
He said this week about being “excited” about the new era at Goodison Park and let us hope he means it.
Because Anichebe has shown just how good he can be.
He has the ability to dominate defenders, to bring others into play and also change the face of games.
Injury-free and in the right frame of mind he could comfortably be plundering 15 goals a season.
Martinez saw that first hand in February last year when Anichebe came off the bench to drag Everton out of their slumber and rescue them a point with a headed equaliser in a bulldozing display.
The key now is not let Kone’s arrival defeat him.
Instead it needs to inspire Anichebe and drive him towards the best football of his career. Better than last season.
Heading towards his peak years, Anichebe cannot use Moyes’s departure to Manchester United and Kone’s arrival as reason to walk around with the weight of the world on his shoulders.
But instead as the challenge to leave Martinez with no option but to pick him.