Fee: On Loan
The 6'8" Ivory Coast international has taken a circuitous route to the Premier League since leaving his homeland for Romanian club CFR Cluj in 2008. Spells in Russia followed with Kuban Krasnodor and Anzhi Makhachkala, for whom he scored 18 goals last season including one against Liverpool in the Europa League. Traore joined Monaco on a four-and-a-half year contract at the start of January and has been promptly loaned to Everton in order to continue his development.
"It all came about very quickly, quite last-minute. I had a choice to make and this [Everton] has been my choice. What I liked about Everton was their style of play. I like the technical, skilful play which is played here. First and foremost, in terms of what I can bring to the side, I'm a striker and it's all about scoring goals. If you're a striker and not scoring goals, you're not doing your job. I am here to work hard."
"His size will give you the wrong impression of the way he is as a footballer. He is technically very gifted, he has a real understanding of the space and combination play around him and is really quick. All those aspects make us a little bit different because we haven't got that sort of player with that presence and height. But we will never change the way we are as a team; our footballing concepts are really clear but the personnel changes bring little tricks and different aspects of our attacking play." - Roberto Martinez, Everton manager.
At 6ft 8in, Everton's new loan signing Lacina Traore breaks the record of Birmingham's Nikola Zigic as the PL's tallest outfield player- Premier League (@premierleague) January 25, 2014
With Arouna Kone injured and Nikica Jelavic sold, there is scope for a striker to make an impact at Goodison Park. Traore was building quite a reputation for himself prior to the upheaval of the past six months and will be anxious to make up for lost time as he bids to impress ahead of the World Cup in the summer. A good fit for the Premier League, a goal glut cannot be ruled out.
It's been a difficult season for the lanky striker as he has found himself caught up in the mess at Anzhi Makhachkala. Traore netted just once for the Russian Premier League's bottom club before switching to Monaco earlier this month so form is not on his side. With Romelu Lukaku unlikely to be deposed as the main striker and Martinez not known for playing two up top, it looks as though it will be bench duties for the Ivorian.
Martinez made shrewd use of the loan market in the summer and this looks to be a similarly smart acquisition as Traore can provide competition for Lukaku as well as a different dimension to Everton's attack. But this is hardly the sort of signing that will keep the club in the race for the European places.
What is your verdict on Lacina Traore?