When The Toffees faced Chelsea, which was Everton’s best part of the season, I held my breathe as Kurt Zouma was ineligible to play and in stepped Yerry Mina. After a brilliant man of the match performance and a clean sheet, I breathed out and my fears of him being a dud were dashed. With eight games to go, we haven’t really seen much more of him, making only eleven appearances, three of which were him being a sub. So what’s happening with the twenty-four year old Colombian?
Signing for a decent sized fee, much to the delight of Barcelona who made about a twenty million profit on him, you would think Mina would be at the heart of our defence right now. However, Keane and Zouma have been preferred for most of the season with Mina watching from the side-lines. Sometimes injuries have played their part. Heck, we signed him injured. Jags also stepped in for Cardiff as Mina was unavailable but the lad has also been on the bench a lot.
Does the manager not fancy him then? This might just be the case. Looking back at his Barca career, he played for them just five times in La Liga, one of them being a substitute. Most of these were at the end of the season when the title was wrapped up too. That’s a pretty bad appearance record. In one of them games, they conceded five goals which again makes you wonder, did Barca just think he was awful and decided to get rid? It’s an alarm bell.
Plucked from the Brazilian leagues as a high prospect, it might not of went well for Mina in Spain, but it was the World Cup where he announced his name. He scored the joint record amount of goals for a central defender, (3) all of them headers which says he’s a massive goal threat from set-plays. The lad is 6ft 5in after all. He was one of Colombia’s star men and he impressed. I do think this is where Brands and Silva paid their attention to him on a whole. I’m not saying Marcel didn’t scout him in Brazil, but I do think he seen an opportunity at the World Cup and seized it.
For Yerry, like Everton, it’s just been a topsy-turvy season. He has impressed me on a few occasions but has gone the total end of the spectrum on another. Look at Brighton away, he was abysmal and rightly dragged off at half time. Then again at Millwall. Part of the shaky defence that let three set-pieces in. The colossus should be dominating the air in this type of game especially against Championship opposition. The World Cup and his first game against Chelsea do seem a little distant now. He only has a fifty-eight percent tackle success rate too which isn’t great. He has definitely struggled for the blues this year, which is a shame as he seems to like it here and has a big personality. The fact he can’t get into a defence in a team that sits eleventh in the league again is worrying. I don’t think Marco Silva helped him at all though by throwing him into a five-at-the-back against Newcastle late into the second half at 2-1. A game we ultimately lost 3-2. Before Newcastle got their first would have been the right time but putting him on when he did only invited pressure as The Magpies were gaining momentum. I’m not going to put the blame on Yerry for that one. The whole defence would of been scratching their heads there.
It may just come down to the fact that Mina needs a bit more game time to settle. He has shown me on separate occasions that he can be a good player but he needs to find some consistency when given the chance, starting with Sunday. This is a big game for him as Zouma can’t play and I’m hoping he will grab the bull by the horns. Kurt will more than likely not be here next season with the whole transfer situation over there and if Yerry plays well, I’m hoping the manager will leave him in. It’d be nice for him to get a partnership going with Keane and I look forward to seeing Mina and how he performs. I am a big believer that every player who signs for a new club deserves a season to settle. As long as they show a little something that is and he has shown me in spells that he can be a player for us. I’m just not pinning all my hopes on it. So come on Yerry grab that chance on the weekend!