Everton boss Sam Allardyce has conceded striker Cenk Tosun is struggling to adapt to the Premier League and must bide his time for further opportunities.
The Toffees had been desperately seeking a new striker last month and brought in 26-year-old Turkey international Tosun from Besiktas in a bid to solve their issues up top.
However, Tosun has started just twice and has been an unused substitute in two of Everton’s last three games, including Saturday’s 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
“He is struggling with the pace of the Premier League, which happens to more players than it doesn’t who come in in January,” Allardyce said.
“There are more that struggle than actually succeed. As time goes on and the more we get closer to our safety the more we can release and see what he’s got.”
Even when 3-0 up against the Eagles with 10 minutes to go, Allardyce still elected to bring on Morgan Schneiderlin rather than Tosun as his final substitute.
The ninth-placed Toffees are eight points clear of the relegation zone and Allardyce admits Tosun will be granted chances once their safety is secured.
Speaking about Tosun’s fitness levels, Allardyce added: “It is a struggle in the Premier League.
“They were up to scratch when he was playing but there is more demand at this level to get to the level and show the ability he has got.
“There is no doubting his goal-scoring ability but you have to have the capabilities to get in those positions to score those goals and that is the hard bit.
“It is not unusual to see a centre forward struggle when they first come. We have seen many, many over the years do that.
“We have got to try and be patient and because the team is winning without him we can be patient at the moment.
“When we are safe and moving forward, we will still try and finish as high up as we can but we will have an opportunity to put him on the pitch.
“The most important thing for me at the moment is securing our Premier League status and going from there.”