Roberto Martinez insists the “unique” qualities of Kevin Mirallas can help fire Everton FC’s push for a top-four finish this season.
And the Blues boss believes the Belgian is approaching a key period of his career, as he looks to establish himself as a genuine top-level talent.
Mirallas has made a big impact since returning from a hamstring injury against West Ham last weekend.
On Thursday, he made a goal for Romelu Lukaku and scored another himself as Everton beat Wolfsburg to secure their place in the last 32 of the Europa League.
Everton FC Europa League match against Wolfsburg at Volkswagen Arena Wolfsburg Germany. Kevin Mirallas scores Evertons second
Martinez knows he now has a number of options, with Mirallas joining the throng of players competing for attacking places. The manager, though, believes the 27-year-old’s pace and running ability marks him out as a key player for his side.
He told the ECHO: “Kevin is approaching a very important moment in his career.
“Yes he is creative and has got pace and can be instinctive, but now he has got a real understanding of how to hurt opponents, where to hurt them and how to use his qualities in the game.
“He’s a very mature footballer, but he brings something that is quite unique in our squad, which will be very important for us this season.”
Martinez admits his own managerial qualities will be challenged, as he looks to find the right attacking combinations.
He does, however, believe the biggest test will be keeping his players fit and healthy.
He said: “It is a challenge for me. But more than that, it is about making sure everyone is fully fit and at the top of their powers when they are on the pitch.
“That’s healthy, it’s a good way of getting the best out of one another.
“We have a lot of attacking options, and every one of them is very strong in certain aspects. Kevin is unique in what he does with his speed and his ability, but Aiden McGeady is also unique, and Samuel Eto’o is, Steven Naismith, Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku, Steven Pienaar, Christian Atsu, they all are.
“Every one of them has got something exceptional to bring into the team, and that is very important to have.
“You need to be well balanced as a squad, don’t get me wrong, but that attacking threat, that goalscoring threat, is vital.
“And I think that we have strength in those areas, and in every position really. That’s what is needed when you are in so many competitions.”
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