Everton journalist Greg O’Keeffe has suggested that getting Yerry Mina back from injury could be the boost that the Toffees need in their fight for survival.
Whilst this season has not exactly been the greatest for Everton, with the club currently just three points above the relegation zone, you could argue that the campaign has been even worse for the 27-year-old defender.
A series of injuries have limited him to just 11 appearances in all competitions this season, with Everton boss Frank Lampard saying that the club are doing their best to help manage him through the problems, stating: “I think it’s really important we focus on this one to get it right. It won’t be surgery, but it will be a lot of work behind the scenes.”
Speaking on the latest edition of the All Together Now podcast, O’Keeffe claimed that when the Colombian comes back from his problems, he might just be the final piece of the puzzle to try and get Everton out of the rut that they are in and push them away from the bottom of the table.
He said: “Yerry Mina’s fitness can’t come soon enough, can it? Whether he’s one that we should still move on in the summer, but they desperately, desperately, desperately need him fit, don’t they? Could that be the defining thing with us being comfortable, getting away from the bottom?”
TIF Thoughts on Greg O’Keeffe’s comments about Yerry Mina for Everton…
Would Yerry Mina be a difference maker for Everton?
O’Keeffe’s comments might be slightly misplaced when you look at the numbers.
This season when he has been available, he’s ranked rather low in a couple of defensive categories. He ranks joint-18th in tackles per game with 0.9 and in eighth for interceptions with 0.9 – not exactly great for someone who O’Keeffe deems so important to the side.
But whilst he does rank high in other areas – third for aerial duels won with 2.6 per game, fourth in clearances with 2.7 and fifth in blocks with 0.5 (stats via WhoScored) – does that really make up for how badly he lacks elsewhere, especially given the trouble that Everton are in?
Perhaps O’Keeffe is just hopeful that simply having an extra defender will help Everton from conceding goals and give them a better chance at picking up points, but looking at the stats that Mina has put up this season, he might not necessarily be the knight in shining armour that he’s painted out to be.
So Lampard might have to rely on simply coaching his players to be better and maybe tweaking the system instead of relying on the Colombian to make a successful comeback.