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….
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..
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
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.
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.
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.
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