When Roberto Martinez became Everton’s manager in 2013, his first order of business was signing Ivorian striker Arouna Kone.
Kone had played under Martinez at Wigan, where he enjoyed a successful campaign, scoring 11 goals in his first Premier League season. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to replicate that success at Goodison Park.
That’s because the striker only managed to play six games before picking up a knee injury that required surgery. Originally believed that Kone would return by the end of last season, setbacks during his recovery have forced Kone to miss more than a year of play.
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Without Kone, Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o have been signed to handle the goalscoring for the Toffees. However, Roberto Martinez said Kone still has a future at Everton.
He hasn’t finished his Everton chapter yet. An injury like this is rare but I’m hopeful he will be able to show what he is about and then we will make an evaluation of his Everton career. There is a long time to go yet.
I want to see him playing and see what effect he can have on the pitch. The signs are right at the moment. There is improvement every week and he is desperate to show what he can do but I am happy to give him the time he needs.”
The Ivorian was set to be on the bench in Everton’s Capital One Cup match against Swansea City, but complained of soreness during warmups and did not dress.
Martinez says he now expects Kone to be match-fit by January, which means the striker would have missed about 15 months while recovering from injury. You never want to see a player’s career ended by injury, so we hope to see Kone back in an Everton kit soon.