Snapped up from Olympiakos towards the end of last year’s summer transfer window, Kevin Mirallas arrived at Everton on the back of an eye-catching campaign. With his final season in Greece harvesting 20 goals from 25 league games, the Belgian looked a canny acquisition by David Moyes but a role on the Toffees right flank, combined with an ongoing hamstring complaint, limited his Fantasy potential.
His classification as a forward in the Fantasy Premier League (FPL) game hardly helped either. While Marouane Fellaini benefitted from his advanced central berth behind a lone forward, Mirallas suffered as a reverse out of position performer – despite being stuck on the wing in Moyes’ preferred 4-4-1-1 system, he chipped in with six goals, five assists and 13 bonus points from 24 starts. With Moyes taking up the reins at Manchester United, however, the installation of Roberto Martinez to the Goodison hotseat may be set to promote Mirallas as a significant Fantasy performer for the season ahead.
- Martinez’s penchant for a 3-4-3 formation seems tailor-made for Mirallas. With the former Wigan boss expected to field Seamus Coleman on the right of the midfield four, the Belgian looks likely to be shifted further forward, affording him greater license to thrive as an attacking prospect. While such a system would diminish Fellaini’s potential, with a move to central midfield on the cards, Mirallas should rise in the Fantasy pecking order under Martinez’s guidance.
- Last season’s spot on the flank should now benefit Mirallas. A midfield classification across the Fantasy games may apply, affording us a real out of position prospect with a keen eye for goal. Price-wise, his debut campaign suggests a drop from last term’s initial 7.5 price tag could be on offer – Fellaini and Steven Pienaar both started the previous campaign at 6.5 and, given that Mirallas ultimately returned a total of 96 points, such a cost would be a fair reflection of his contribution last time out.
- The hamstring issue which hampered his game time now finally seem to be behind him. Mirallas limped out of the Gameweek 11 clash with Sunderland after less than half an hour and lasted just 45 minutes of the Gameweek 16 home match with Tottenham before succumbing to the same problem. Moyes courted caution with the problem, easing him back into the Toffees first-team, but a fully-fit Mirallas started each of his side’s last 11 league games and proved an increasingly instrumental figure for the Merseysiders.
- Further analysis of Mirallas’ form highlights a definite upturn in performance over those final few months of the season. Devoid of injury and finally accustomed to the rigours of the Premier League, he produced five goals, an assist and 13 bonus points over those final 11 fixtures, compared to a single goal and four assists across his first 16 appearances. Even if – as some suspect – Martinez begins with last season’s formation until the players get to grips with his tactics, Mirallas’ potential still looks to be strong.
- The opening fixture list has been relatively kind to Martinez’s troops. Three of their first four home games hold plenty appeal (WBA, NEW, HUL) and with trips to Norwich and Cardiff also on their agenda, Everton face just two of last season’s top eight in the first eight Gameweeks, with a home game against Chelsea and visit to City in Gameweeks 4 and 7 respectively.