Are Premier League fans seeing the second coming of Louis Saha? The former first team Manchester United striker scored the only goal in a match carried by ESPN2 in the States in pristine HD this past Saturday- a match that produced just 1 goal, but some great saves from keepers on both sides. The Everton man & former French International netted his 7th goal in all competitions of the season Saturday at Portsmouth to earn the blue side of Merseyside their first away points of the season – a much needed 3 points for Everton after an early, slow start. In the 42nd minute of a match with chances coming on both sides, it was Johnny Heitinga who found Saha with a long ball – Saha won it in the air over Younes Kaboul & quickly struck past David James in the Pompey goal. The lone strike was enough for a 4th straight Everton victory.
Great news to Toffee supporters is the re-acquired form of Saha who spent a lot of time in the past 4 years injured at Manchester United. After his stint with the current champions, Saha came to Everton in late 08, for an undisclosed fee & signed a 2 year pay as play deal-one similar to that of Michael Owen’s at Manchester United (is Owen another player on the verge of rediscovering top form in the premier league?). At the time of his transfer to Everton, Saha was not match fit but had an overall semi productive year with the Toffees mostly coming off the bench & scoring 8 goals in 29 appearances in all competitions. No one should forget Saha’s opener in last May’s FA Cup final against Chelsea when he bagged the fastest goal in FA Cup history – a stunner in 25 seconds.
It’s been a quick start for Saha in the 09-10 campaign thus far. He’s made 7 appearances & scored 7 times in all competitions & sits 6th with 4 goals in the league. Can the now 31 year old Saha keep on his current form & help Everton crack the top 4? Will he ever be able to replicate the form from his first full season in the Premier League with Fulham scoring 32 goals in 48 appearances? Most importantly, can Saha stay match fit & avoid the injuries that’s plagued him on & off for the last few years?
What’s known is that if Saha can stay match fit, he’ll be a hand full for opposing defenses with his skill in the air, pace off the ball & silky smooth finishing abilities. With a healthy Saha contributing goals, Everton should be there or thereabouts by the end of the season. Here’s hoping he can stay fit as he’ll surly impress Premier League fans throughout the season if he does.