April 19, 2024

After a difficult few weeks on the blue half of Merseyside, Everton moved a step closer to Premier League safety with an impressive 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Saturday 2 December.


Dwight McNeil’s second-half strike was the difference between the two sides in an incredibly close-fought contest at the City Ground, with both sides spurning a number of half-decent chances throughout the contest.


One player who was particularly guilty of being wasteful in front of goal was Portuguese striker Beto. The 25-year-old’s wait for a first Premier League goal continues since making the switch from Udinese this summer and he really should have got on the scoresheet on Saturday.



Beto had three shots before he was substituted after 82 minutes, but failed to hit the target with any of his efforts. The worst of his efforts came midway through the first half as he skied an effort from the middle of the penalty area over the bar under very little pressure.

With his three misses at the City Ground, the 25-year-old has now failed to score in 381 minutes of Premier League football and an xG of 1.91. Worryingly only six per cent of his shots have been on target, with one of his 17 efforts on goal testing the keeper [Fotmob].


This hasn’t just been an issue in the Premier League, in the last year Beto places in eighth percentile for non-penalty goals per 90 minutes, despite being in the 44th percentile for non-penalty xG a game, when compared to strikers in Europe’s top five leagues [Fbref].


It wasn’t just in front of goal where Beto struggled against Forest as he was unable to consistently find his teammates with the ball at his feet, only completing six of his 11 attempted passes in the match.

Everton repeatedly looked long for the Portuguese forward throughout the game, but he was only able to win eight of his 20 duels both in the air and on the ground, losing six of his aerial battles against the physical Forest backline.



Over the last few years, Sean Dyche’s side have been unable to find an able deputy and backup for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, with Neal Maupay the last striker to deputise for the England international before he joined Brentford on loan.


Maupay is quite clearly not the answer to Everton’s striker problems, the 27-year-old is viewed as a flop having only found the net twice in his season on Merseyside, but there must be some fears that Beto could be yet another striker to struggle at Goodison.


The Toffees paid £25.5 million [Sky Sports] for the 25-year-old and given their financial situation, they cannot afford to have a repeat of the Maupay deal.


The Frenchman scored his second goal of the campaign for the Bees against Luton on Saturday, hitting the target with three of his efforts in a much more consistent attacking display.

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