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The Case For and Against Kevin Mirallas’ New Contract

The Blues’ Belgian winger is now tied up long term, but was that the right decision?

Manchester United v Everton - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

In his time at Everton Football Club, Kevin Mirallas has been a popular figure, albeit a somewhat inconsistent performer on the pitch. Excellent with the ball at his feet, the Belgian winger is often the subject of songs at Goodison Park.

Anytime a new manager arrives at a club, doubts are cast over what an existing player’s role may or may not be, and it was no different with Mirallas and Ronald Koeman.

However, “Super Kev” will have been pleased with the Koeman tenure so far. He’s made a whopping 35 appearances in all competitions, notching 4 goals and 6 assists, and now has a fresh long term contract for his efforts. Mirallas has, more or less, cemented his starting spot on the left side of Everton’s attacking three to go along with Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku.

It’s not all puppies and rainbows, though. When news broke during the Dixies that Mirallas would receive a contract extension, there was hand-wringing and a sense of hesitancy among Evertonians. Kevin is 29, and has a history of hamstring injuries.

So, was Everton right to extend the contract of Kevin Mirallas? Let’s discuss.

Sean: While there will be those with doubts over the renewal for Mirallas, there are plenty of positives to be had.

His inconsistency is undeniable but he can be a talented player on his day. Having a player of his ability on the bench is hardly a negative for next season. Look at it this way; if Mirallas is the worst player Everton have on their bench next season then things are rosy indeed.

With the Europa League returning to Goodison Park, the Blues will be playing a lot more games than usual.

Having options on the bench will be vital to ensure we can operate successfully on all fronts and Mirallas is not a bad one to have. He has proved his quality and has experience in the Premier League and Europe to boot. It also saves Everton having to find a replacement in the summer and missing out on any potential fee for him in future.

Everton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Chris: Oy. I like Kevin. He seems like a good guy and a good teammate, insofar as those things are quantifiable. Mirallas has put in a good shift for Everton, and aside from some bad disciplinary instances (isolated, to be fair), is a useful player to have around the squad.

This contract, though...barf. At 29, Mirallas is past the peak of his powers, and the investment Everton are showing through a new deal is highly likely to only have diminishing returns.

Mirallas has suffered two fairly serious hamstring injuries in his career (2012, 2014), and as he continues to age, fitness issues could come to the forefront once again.

Beyond that, the outlook gets worse. Looking deeper at the numbers, Mirallas has not had a very productive season. Per Ted Knutson on Twitter:

The Belgian’s creative numbers are poor, as is his goalscoring output. Mirallas is, undoubtedly, a good dribbler, but with Barkley and Lukaku in the side, he should be making more of an impact off the ball.

Everton’s attack finds success when it has willing and hard working runners off of Romelu Lukaku, but when Mirallas isn’t running at defenders with the ball, he tends to disappear. It’s unlikely he reinvents himself as this contract goes on.

In the end, Everton probably would have been better suited giving more time to Ademola Lookman, or even trying to bring back the prodigal son - Gerard Deulofeu, whose creative numbers are much, much better. That, though, is a conversation for another day.


Should Everton have extended the contract of Kevin Mirallas?

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