Top scorer in the Greek league last season, Kevin Mirallas is one of the many highly rated Belgians plying their trade around Europe. Able to play in a variety of attacking positions, Mirallas can fashion a chance from almost nothing. Unfortunately, hampered by numerous injuries, this mercurial talent has flitted in and out of the Everton side this season.
Registering seven goals and six assists in 21 starts (all competitions); Mirallas has had a positive impact on this Everton side in spite of his injuries. Liable to add to both tallies before the season ends, the foundations are set for a respectable first season in English football, with the potential to wreak havoc on defences in his second season.
Taking time to adjust to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League, while also recovering from injuries and regaining fitness, Mirallas has returned impressive statistics for a player adapting to a new team and new surroundings.
In line with the team average, Mirallas has a 79% passing accuracy from his 375 attempted passes. In the final third, the area that Mirallas thrives in, the passing accuracy (73%) is above the team average (69%).
Displaying an assured passing range, Mirallas has been successful with 14 of 17 long balls (82%); a figure that stands well above the team average (56%). Despite his tendency to drift infield, Mirallas also boasts strong crossing figures. Only Leighton Baines (2.8) completes more crosses per game (1.1) and 27% accuracy from 82 crosses is, once again, above the team average (24%).
Possessing pace and skill in abundance, Mirallas is at his best when running at opponents. His 59 attempted dribbles attests to that and is more than any other Everton player. With 1.3 accurate dribbles per match, Mirallas edges out the attack-minded duo of Seamus Coleman (1.1) and Baines (0.8) in the dribbling stakes.
Never one to turn down a shooting opportunity, only Marouane Fellaini (3.1) is ahead of Mirallas in terms of shots per match (2.7). Recording 54 shots in the league, Mirallas has a shooting accuracy of 64%, which is above the team average (46%), while his chance conversion rate (12%) is marginally below the team average (13%).
Restricted by injury to 16 league starts and four substitute appearances, Mirallas has still managed strong creativity statistics. Only Fellaini (30), Steven Pienaar (63) and Baines (97) have created more goal scoring opportunities this season (28).
Leading the way on chances created, Baines (3.1) and Pienaar (2.3) also head the list in chances created per game. In this category, however, Mirallas (1.4) rises above Fellaini (1.3) into third. Providing three league assists and six assists in all competitions, Mirallas has impressed creatively in his debut season.
Chipping in with vital goals and assists, fans will wonder what impact a fully fit Mirallas may have had on this season. Since returning from his latest injury, Mirallas has dragged Everton towards a European place.
Scoring four goals in his last six matches, the contrast between the goals also highlights the quality of the player. Notching against Oldham, Reading, Stoke and Tottenham, each goal has differed greatly from the last. Not content with his fine solo goal against Spurs, Mirallas also created the most chances (3).
Driving Everton forward in these final matches, the Belgian is proving a shrewd investment. While room for improvement remains, as Mirallas continues to adapt to the rigours of the Premier League, a subject touched upon by David Moyes earlier in the week, Everton have found themselves one of the league’s most attacking and exciting talents. Possessing the ability to alter the course of a match in an instant, Mirallas looks a bargain at £5.3million.
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