Roberto Martinez brought over a trio of Wigan Athletic players when he completed his move to Everton at the beginning of the season. Of the three, it was the signing of defender Antolín Alcaraz that might have drawn the most flak, and by the end of the season that reaction was well-justified.
Alcaraz started the season off on the physio's table, having picked up a training ground injury even before making his first Everton appearance. He made it to the sub's bench later in December, and started for the side for five straight games soon after. That streak ended in the drubbing at Anfield and Alcaraz was injured again soon after that. He only regained fitness in March again, just in time to replace an injured Sylvain Distin as the Blues attempted to keep pace with Arsenal for the last Champions League spot. Paired up with rookie John Stones, the Paraguayan was on the pitch as first Everton lost away to Southampton and then at home to Manchester City to kill off any chances at finishing fourth.
The defender ended the year with six starts and one substitution appearance, garnering no goals, assists or yellow cards, and two shots on goal. While he looked quite competent when he first started for Everton, as the season went on he looked more and more lost on the field. One would have thought he would have had an advantage having worked with Martinez previously, but that was not to be. His awkwardness on the ball and poor positioning led fans to wish John Heitinga was still in the side, which is a pretty damning verdict.
Stones was a surprise for most fans as he came along in leaps and bounds this year. Shane Duffy has had some first team experience and with promising youngsters Luke Garbutt and Tyias Browning in the pipeline, it is safe to say that Alacaraz will not be on the pitch for the Blues short of a defender armageddon striking down the Everton backline next season.
What are your thoughts on Alcaraz's season for the Blues?