Everton midfielder Kevin Mirallas has spoken out after his attempts to leave Goodison Park this summer transfer window failed, claiming that he is ‘sad’ that he couldn’t force a late move away.
Although Sky Sports reported on deadline day that West Ham were the ones making last minute strides to bring the 29-year-old winger in, the Belgian’s heart was set on forcing a move to Greece.
And with his international duties finished following two matches as an unused substitute against Gibraltar and – ironically – Greece, he’s now set to return to Everton ahead of the Tottenham clash.
What did Kevin Mirallas have to say?
Speaking to the Belgian media on international duty, he told DH Net:
“I really wanted to come to Olympiakos and we tried our best to find a deal that would suit everyone, including President Vangelis Marinakis, who did everything possible and beyond. But Everton turned a deaf ear.
“I am so sad that I have not been home and I hope that will be the case in the near future.
“I would like to thank all Olympiakos supporters for the many messages they sent me. And they must know that I love their club and, as I said before, one day I will come back to them.”
Mirallas spent a two-year spell at the Greek side between 2010 and 2012, becoming an influential figure straight away and earning a cult hero status on his way to 34 goals in just 52 Greek Super League games.
What can the Belgian offer Ronald Koeman?
It’s currently unseen as to what the relationship between Mirallas and Everton manager Ronald Koeman will be like upon his return to Merseyside, with tensions and emotions likely to still be raw.
Yet despite the fact that Mirallas has been used sparingly over the past season by the Dutchman, there’s certainly still space for him at Everton – after all, he merits a spot in a strong Belgium squad.
The 29-year-old still carries a lot of pace and guile on the wings, ready to exploit tired defences, whilst his close ball control and desire to drive at defenders is always going to be a dangerous asset.
He also likes to keep as wide as possible to stretch the opposition, cutting inside from the left on to his right-foot and delivering dangerous crosses into the area – something Sandro Ramirez would like.
Where would he fit in at Goodison Park?
The likelihood is that, after splashing out over £100 million on new signings this summer, Koeman won’t be looking at fitting Mirallas into his starting eleven, instead utilising him as an impact player.
In the three Premier League matches of the season to date the Belgian has only featured once as a substitute, coming on for just the final 14 minutes of Everton’s opening day victory over Stoke City.
And club-record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson will undoubtedly be taking up his position on the wing, leaving Mirallas with some hefty competition if he wants to try and re-claim his first-team status.
Although being far from ideal this bench role could suit Mirallas in the short-term, coming on and influencing the outcome of matches late on and simultaneously putting himself in the shop window for the January transfer market, when it’s expected that he’ll try to make another push for Olympiakos.