Looking at Everton’s squad as a whole, there are some players that you would expect to take their game to an enhanced level next year. Compared to the pragmatic and sometimes rigid tactical blueprint of his predecessor David Moyes, Roberto Martinez will look to implement a fluent, versatile attacking style. The flair players at the club like Steven Pienaar, Bryan Oviedo, Ross Barkley and Leon Osman will all surely benefit playing in a set-up with an increased technical focus.
But of all the players in the squad, expect Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas to flourish most of all under the new manager.
Mirallas is a player that the Everton fan-base are itching to see in action again next season. For when he was on the pitch last season, he dazzled.
He made his debut in the League Cup against Leyton Orient, netting twice in the opening half. The Evertonians took to him immediately, and not just because of his introductory brace.
It has been a quite a stint since Everton had a player in the same mould as Mirallas within their ranks. Wide players with pace, trickery and an eye for goal have been scarcely found in blue shirts down the years. In fact, you have to go back to Andrei Kanchelskis at the end of the 1990’s when pondering the previous player of this ilk.
Everyone loves to see a player constantly going at defenders with pace and agility; Evertonians are no different. In that respect, Mirallas ticks all the boxes.
Whilst on the pitch Mirallas showcased a glut of class. But he was not on the field as much as David Moyes would have liked him to be over the course of the whole campaign.
At his former club Olympiakos, Mirallas would usually operate as one of the wide forwards in a 4-3-3 formation. As such, his defensive duties were almost non-existent. He remained high up the pitch and tried to use his devastating pace to hit teams on the break.
Whilst this was a successful ploy – Mirallas bagged 20 goals in his last season in Greece – his role was always going to change under the Moyes regime. At Everton, Mirallas has operated primarily from the right-hand side in a 4-4-1-1 formation. Typical of the Moyes philosophy, the Belgian was never going to get away with a neglect of defensive work, especially with Seamus Coleman marauding forward from the full-back slot behind him.