Mirallas and Deulofeu should shine under Everton’s new regime

Much has been made of who Everton will be bringing in since Farhad Moshiri’s pledge of a £100 million transfer kitty. The Blues have been linked with a string of big name players in a variety of positions. Equally, there has been, as there so often is with Everton, talk of who might be leaving.

What has been somewhat overlooked is the players almost certain to stay at Goodison Park. These include Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu. Undoubtedly two of Everton’s best players on their day, their downfall has been their inconsistency. But perhaps they were mishandled by the previous management. Afforded ample opportunities, Mirallas and Deulofeu should shine under Everton’s new regime.

Mirallas and Deulofeu should shine under Everton’s new regime

Mirallas Mismanagement

From as far away as the Top Balcony of Goodison Park it was clear to see a mutual disconnection between Mirallas and Roberto Martinez. For whatever reason, Everton’s ex-boss wasn’t keen on the Belgian winger.

The 28-year-old was in top form in the first half of Martinez’s second season, scoring five in 13. It resulted in rumours of him wanting to leave for Champions League football. Concurrently, as the January transfer window approached, Everton’s domestic form nosedived. The festive period saw four defeats in four.

The Turning Point

A 1-1 draw with Man City followed before a Monday night clash with West Brom. A dull spectacle, the only major talking point was a missed penalty by Kevin Mirallas. It was made more notable because Mirallas claimed responsibility for the penalty kick ahead of first-choice taker, Leighton Baines. It didn’t sit well with anyone connected with Everton. Dragged off at half time, Mirallas would only start another six games that season.

A new campaign might have seen the slate wiped clean. After the penalty incident, Martinez insisted regaularly that the Belgian was an important member of the squad. Yet, in the Spaniard’s final season in charge, Mirallas was the 17th most used player, with a total of 1,005 minutes played in the league.

His two red cards, against Swansea City and West Ham United respectively, wouldn’t have helped his cause, but it could be argued they were as a direct result of his minimal appearances. Martinez, rightly or wrongly, didn’t trust one of his better players and it cost Everton dearly. Despite not being a preferred choice, Mirallas still scored a goal every 251 minutes played – second only to Romelu Lukaku in Everton’s ranks.

Deulofeu’s stamina

On the other wing, and with just as much ability with just as many struggles, is Gerard Deulofeu. After his poor loan spell with Sevilla, the young Spaniard came back to Goodison on a permanent basis. In his first spell at Everton, Deulofeu, while pacey and direct, was often wasteful. He returned to Everton more mature and more determined. His game-changing performances against Barnsley and Reading in last season’s Captial One Cup earned him a chance in the league. And he took it.

In his first start of the season he created two goals for Lukaku as Everton came from two goals down to beat West Brom. It was the start of a deadly partnership with the Belgian striker. Over the course of the season Deulofeu claimed nine Premier League assists – seven of which Lukaku converted.

Despite his startling performances, Deulofeu’s stamina was a cause for concern. He only completed the full 90 minutes five times out of 16 starts in the Premier League. After his final assist of the season against Chelsea in January, the 22-year-old only featured six more times in the league.

His fitness problems, combined with an Aaron Lennon purple patch, meant Deulofeu lost his place in the team. When reintroduced, he failed to find his best form as Everton stuttered to another mid-table finish.

How Koeman can get the best from them

Fortunately for Mirallas and Deulofeu there’s a new regime in place. One that utilises width, encourages hard work and tenacity, and one they should shine under.

Though Ronald Koeman likes to change his formation depending on the opposition, he often plays a 4-3-2-1 or 4-4-2. Mirallas and Deulofeu should be among the first names on the sheet, provided they’re fully fit. Mirallas coming in from the left-hand side and Deulofeu whipping balls into the box from the right.

Both players have assets Koeman, and any manager, would love. They possess great pace, brilliant dribbling skills and contribute goals to the team. This can be seen in their goal-scoring and assists stats from last season.

Mirallas, in particular, seems in a determined mood ahead of the upcoming Premier League season. Koeman and his backroom staff need to channel this hunger in the right way. Trust Mirallas, give him a run in the team and reap the rewards.

For Deulofeu, Jan Kluitenberg, Everton’s well-reputed fitness coach, should be able to take the Spaniard’s game to the next level. Defences found him increasingly hard to deal with for 60 minutes last season, they could have an even harder time with him in peak physical condition.

For some positions in this Everton squad, signings might not need to be made. With the right management, Mirallas and Deulofeu could be lethal.