Toffee Scout Report: Deconstructing Kevin Mirallas

Belgian winger / forward Kevin Mirallas is in talks to become the latest Everton recruit of the transfer window. Let’s analyse what we could be getting….

Position

Deployed mostly as a striker in the Greek Super League, the double footed Belgian is equally effective playing as an inverted winger on either flank cutting inside, rarely going on the outside which is good as his crossing isn’t fantastic. The option of  playing him on the left  could release Pienaar into the number 10 role –  a position Mirallas is also comfortable in. Given our weakness on the right its more likely he will feature there..

Creativity

He loves tricks and in this respect is a bit like Ronaldo with step overs aplenty. He has two good feet (although he will invariably go with his right) so defenders are often not sure how to play him. His speed and ability to expedite  the defensive to offensive phases of play is his major asset and in this respect he is ideally suited to a reactive team like us who play counter attacking football.

He has craft as fellow suitor Arsene Wenger will testify after he created 8 chances against the Gunners in Olympiakos’ ecl win this season. He is always looking for the forward pass and in this respect will help our often slow attacking tempo.  ‘End product’ can be an issue though; for someone in a predominantly attacking role a career assist average of 2.75 per season is average.

The following stats are from his six appearances in Olympiakos champions league run last season in comparison to other players in the competition……

  • Ranked 14th for most shots per game (3.3)
  • Made 1.7 key passes per game
  • Joint 8th most fouled player (2.8 per game)
  • 11 th most successful dribbles (2.5 per game)
  • 4th most offsides (1.3 per game)
  • 77.7% pass completion
  • 38% Crossing Accuracy

Finishing

Whilst I’d guess he would be deployed on either flank he is a more than accomplished poacher with 20 goals from just 25 league games last season and he could be pushed further up field should Jelavic be sidelined. As a cautionary tale his time in France wasn’t quite as productive with just 15 goals from 153 starts. His strike rate at International level is 1 in 5 although remember he is often played out wide.

Off the ball

In the ECL he was used to playing in a reactive side with little possession so our strategy wouldn’t be too much of a culture shock. He has ok positional play and understands the principal of shape. In the ecl games he averaged 1.8 possession regains per game so in this respect he doesn’t work as hard off the ball as say Pienaar who registered 3.9 per game last season. His ability to win fouls is also notable as the stats above show; he is capable of drawing fouls with his quick feet and fast movement – he would rival suarez in this respect – however his simulation can be excessive and might not go down well with some of the traditionalists at L4.

Mentality

He has good self confidence with few off field issues, characterised by a decent disciplinary record on the pitch. In football psychology terms he would be classed as a Type B’ player (the best type) who have high ambition and low performance anxiety with limited fear of failure. In comparison with previous wide men, KM doesn’t have issues with authority or temperament problems like a drenthe for example or the high anxiety issues suffered by bilyaledtinov. The only caveat here is that his self confidence can sometimes be a weakness; for example he will often look to take everyone on and get a shot on goal even when its better to pass. Whilst it comes off regularly in a weak greek league it would need to be modified in the prem.

Verdict

This deal would basically solve the striking and wide right berth conundrums in one go,  delivering a  proven goalscorer with champions league and international pedigree. Age wise he is in the 22-27 bracket so also assists in Moyes desire to even out the imbalanced age group of the squad (plus re sale value). In this country £6m would get you half a reo coker, almost a jamie o hara and 2/3 of the championship kid soton signed from burnley. He is by no stretch of the imagination faultless and has areas of his game that need development but he has genuine game changing qualities and proven experience of delivering results in top flight european football. Put simply, It would be a corking transfer if it came off.

EB

New on the blog today – Everton v Man Utd 5 Point Tactical Preview

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16 thoughts on “Toffee Scout Report: Deconstructing Kevin Mirallas

  1. A usefull insight, thanks. From what I’ve seen of him I’d agree for the most part. If Moyes plays him as an attacking midfielder i think he’d be a hit. Not sure about a winger that can’t cross?

  2. “…for someone in a predominantly attacking role a career assist average of 2.75 per season is average.”

    I think “average” is being kind. It’s pathetic. Let’s not get taken in by a 5 minute youtube clip.

    Thanks as ever for a thought-provoking piece.

  3. So he’s the anti-Bilyaletdinov then?. Cant cross, but, can run and keep the ball. Concerned that he might not offer us genuine width on the right, but, as long as he stays at around the £6mn mark looks worth the punt.

  4. I tried to understand -possession regains -but they never happen in English football
    PLEASE if you want to follow OUR game then talk ENGLISH not that foreign accented jibberish that doesn’t travel well across the pond 😉

    • I dislike Americanisms as much as the next man, but it’s a bit boorish to criticise him as he isn’t English.I was more intrigued by the “principle of shape”

    • OUR game? FOREIGN JIBBERISH? Oh dear. Born and lived in liverpool most of my life…..does having a season tkt for 25 years allow me to comment on YOUR game? My missus has never been to a football match in her life and understands the term possession regain. Its really not THAT difficult.

  5. His simulation might well be excessive, which might not go down well with traditionalists of L4….or it could mean lots of undeserved freekicks on the edge of the penalty box which Mr Baines (and dare I say it, Mr Hibbert) would be more than happy to take advantage of…I’m not a fan of diving, even (or especially) from our own players, but I just wonder if that might be a tactical ploy worth exploiting???

  6. Dislike the our game comments but I don’t see anything wrong with saying tackles won and interceptions, tells you a bit more than possession regains? Anyway another interesting read and an informative analysis of the player – cheers.

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