Everton have confirmed the signing of Monaco striker Lacina Traore on loan until the end of the season.
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But manager Roberto Martinez says the 23-year-old is unlikely to make his debut for several weeks as he recovers fully from a hamstring problem.
The move has gone through despite concerns that the French Ligue 1 side would pull out of the deal because of a serious knee injury to Radamel Falcao.
Monaco were forced to reconsider their striking options after Falcao suffered the injury during a Coupe de France tie on Wednesday, and must sell before they can buy cover for the Colombia international, but they have allowed Ivory Coast forward Traore to go out on loan.
The 23-year-old, who was granted a work permit to play for Everton on Tuesday, needs a visa before he can turn out for his new club, who said that it is “a formality that is expected to be completed in the coming days.”
In a video interview on Everton’s website, Martinez said that a debut would have to wait in any case.
Martinez said: “He’s at the back of a soft tissue injury that he had, and we need to make sure that’s fully healed before we can set him on to the demands of the Premier League.
“We’re talking a matter of weeks. Lacina’s role will probably be for the last nine or 10 games of the season. That’s where I see him being influential for us.”
The Everton manager, though, believes that Traore could play a significant part in their bid for Champions League football.
He said of the striker: “He’s a player with real pace, and obviously his height always attracts the eye, but he’s got great co-ordination. His movement is very good, and technically, he’s as good a player as you’re going to see with that height.
“He can play in the number nine position or just behind the striker. That will give us really good options in an area that, because of the injury to Arouna Kone, we are a little bit weak.”
Everton moved in to do a deal for Traore when it looked as though he would be going to West Ham.
The Hammers themselves made a successful work permit application on the striker’s behalf, but reportedly stalled on completing the deal because they had concerns over a hamstring injury Traore suffered last month.
Sam Allardyce, West Ham’s manager, subsequently said that he felt his move for the forward had been hijacked by Everton.
Traore was made available for loan by Monaco, even though they only signed him on Jan 4. from Russian Premier League club Anzhi Makhachkala on a four-and-a-half-year contract. Monaco boss Claudio Ranieri wanted to loan out the 6-foot-8 forward, who he sees as a long-term signing, to gain regular football.
Traore attracted the attention of football fans on Merseyside when he scored for Anzhi as they beat Liverpool 1-0 in a Europa League group stage game on Nov. 8, 2012.