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Martinez: Signing of Lacina Traore won't change Everton style

Updated: Thursday, 30 Jan 2014 15:26 | Comments

Lacina Traore feels he needs game time if he is to secure a World Cup spot with Ivory Coast
Lacina Traore feels he needs game time if he is to secure a World Cup spot with Ivory Coast

Everton manager Roberto Martinez may have signed one of the tallest players in European football but he insists Lacina Traore's giant stature reflects the club's ambition and not a change in style.

The 6ft 8in Ivory Coast international has signed on loan from Monaco, whom he only joined earlier in the month from Anzhi Makhachkala for a reported £16million.

Traore rejected West Ham, who had already obtained a work permit for the striker, for Martinez's purer footballing principals and the Toffees boss insists they will not change.

"His size will give you the wrong impression of the way he is as a footballer," said Martinez. "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.”

"The way in which Everton play is more of a passing side and that style suited my technical ability" - Lacina Traore

Romelu Lukaku's ankle injury, likely to keep him out for several weeks, means there is a void at centre-forward following the sale of Nikica Jelavic to Hull, but Traore is still at least 10 days away from full fitness after a hamstring problem. It means either Kevin Mirallas and Steven Naismith will be asked to fill in during the interim.

"What we don't want is to rush Lacina and then he breaks down and we can't have him for the whole season,” Martinez said. "Romelu has been very influential and you don't have many opportunities to replace him on a like-for-like basis but the flexibility and different combinations and partnerships we have in the final third are exciting.

"We have options up front; Romelu has been in outstanding form and has been leading the line and having the opportunity but we have other players who have been showing good signs and are desperate to help the team and that is what we need.

"I am happy we can do different things to still be a good force going forward."

Traore knows he needs game time in order to be in the best shape to secure a place in Ivory Coast's World Cup squad this summer.

He believes a spell working under Martinez can assist him in that, which is why he opted for Everton over West Ham who were first in line and had already secured a work permit before the Merseysiders joined the race for his services.

"I looked at the styles of play of the two teams we are talking about and the way in which Everton play is more of a passing side and that style suited my technical ability," said the 23-year-old.

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