Having already acquired five new signings this summer, Everton continue to remain in the market for a new striker, with the Toffees having expressed their interest in Ligue 1 club RC Strasbourg’s Ludovic Ajorque last week. Amongst a handful of Premier League clubs said to have scouted the tall and imposing striker during Strasbourg’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool earlier this summer, Everton are said to have already initiated talks over an initial loan move for the player.
Despite tying down Ajorque to a deal running until 2024, Strasbourg are likely to cash in on the striker provided a club meets their valuation. According to Foot Mercato, talks over a potential loan deal for the player is said to have gained momentum over the weekend, with Strasbourg expected to hold out for €18mn provided they sanction his sale before the end of the summer transfer window.
Moreover, with Everton desperate to acquire a striker following the departure of Richarlison and an unfortunate knee injury sustained by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Merseyside club are expected to make a bid for the French striker whilst monitoring alternative options moving into the final few weeks of the window. Having struggled to find the back of the net in each of their last two league games, Everton will be keen on adding a striker to their roster of players before the end of the transfer window.
Who Is Ludovic Ajorque?
Following a two-year stint with Ligue 1 club Angers, Ajorque signed his first professional contract with the club as a 20-year-old in 2014. Having made only one appearance for Angers, the striker found himself loaned out to Le Poiré-sur-Vie VF and Luçon VF in the following two years, both third-tier clubs at the time.
Although having not made a single appearance across the top two tiers of French football at the healthy age of 22, the French striker was acquired by Clermont in 2016; the club playing a major role vis-à-vis igniting his career moving forward. Making 28 league appearances in his first season, Ajorque scored five and assisted four goals helping the club to a mid-table finish.
The following campaign saw him significantly increase his contribution, with the striker accounting for 14 goals and three assists in 36 league games, making him the sixth-highest goal-scorer in Ligue 2 for the season. Ajorque exploits with Clermont in Ligue 2 soon earned him a move to Strasbourg, with the hard-working striker having consistently played a key role in the club’s prospects in recent seasons.
A Welcome Addition
Renowned for his imposing physicality and goal-scoring prowess, the 6’6” striker could prove to be a game-changing addition to Everton’s squad. Having bagged 28 goals and 12 assists across the last two Ligue 1 campaigns, Ajorque played a major role in helping Strasbourg gain a sixth-placed finish last season, thus, attracting the interest of numerous clubs over the summer.
Besides, the tall Frenchman is regarded as a perfect replacement for the injured Calvert-Lewin in the immediate future. Alongside his goal-scoring numbers, Ajorque is known to be a team player; boasting an incredible work-rate whilst helping the team in the build-up play. The Frenchman’s tall and imposing frame only adds to his locker, with the striker ranking in the top 10% for aerial duels won amongst personnel in his position across Europe’s top five leagues last season.
Additionally, Ajorque possesses a deceptive turn of pace. Although not regarded for his athleticism and dribbling, the striker has proven to be capable of serving as a reliable target-man with the ability to contribute with goal-scoring chances for his teammates. Having registered a commendable 150 appearances; accounting for 50 goals and 19 assists since his move to Strasbourg in 2018, the 28-year-old could be a significant addition to an Everton expected to be involved in a relegation scrap this season.
With Everton short on depth and quality in the striking role, Ajorque serves as a no-brainer for a side lacking a striker capable of contributing in the build-up play whilst emerging as a clinical threat in front of goal, moving further into the season. Although the club continues to monitor other options such as Coventry City’s Viktor Gyokeres and Stade Rennes’ Serhou Guirassy, a move for Ajorque is more than likely to materialise provided the Toffees follow up on their interest in the player over the coming weeks.