By Dominic Toner
Ronald Koeman has said that Enner Valencia made a good impression on his Everton debut.
The 26-year-old completed a loan switch to Goodison Park in the summer and was used as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 win against Middlesbrough.
The forward replaced the in-form Romelu Lukaku in the second-half after he was forced off with an injury concern, which Everton will hope does not see the Belgian sidelined for any matches.
Lukaku, Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman netted the goals for the Toffees, after Maarten Steklenburg had scored an own goal to give the visitors an early lead.
Everton manager Koeman has revealed that he was content with the impact of Valencia and views him as an important member of the squad, as quoted by the club’s Twitter account.
“He worked hard for the team,” he said. “He did what we expect for the substitutes to bring after the injury of Romelu. It’s good for the boy to have his first minutes for Everton, it’s a good signing, it’s a good player and he gives really that competition that we need.”
Valencia had two mixed seasons with West Ham since joining in 2014, scoring just 10 goals in 72 appearances.
The versatile attacker was often used out wide as well as the frontline striker and he recently said that he was played out of position at West Ham in an interview with the Liverpool Echo.
He is now hoping to restart his career with the Merseyside club and has joined a team that are still unbeaten in the league.
Lukaku is set to remain as the club’s preferred option in attack but Valencia will be challenging for a starting position in a competitive squad.
Everton have moved up to second place in the league after the first five games and Koeman has already had a huge impact on the club’s fortunes since his summer arrival.
In other Everton team news, the club’s fans have reacted on Twitter to Idrissa Gueye’s performance against Middlesbrough.