By Aramide Oladipo
Former Everton defender Michael Ball believes it was a smart decision from Everton to extend the contract of Belgian international Kevin Mirallas.
Last week, Everton confirmed via their official club website that the 29-year-old had signed an extension to his deal that would see him stay at the club until 2020.
Under the guidance of new manager Ronald Koeman, Mirallas has made 34 Premier League appearances this season – his highest amount since joining the club from Greek side Olympiacos in 2012.
The Belgian’s form hasn’t been the best this campaign – he has only contributed with four Premier League goals but he has still provided six assists for his fellow teammates.
In his column for the Liverpool Echo, Ball praised the hierarchy at Everton for making the Belgian put pen to paper on a new deal as he believes that the Merseyside club should keep hold of their experienced players.
“My initial reaction to hearing the news that Kevin Mirallas will sign a new deal was one of surprise,” he writes.
“But the more I thought about it, I could understand and appreciate why the club have handed him fresh terms.
“By keeping Kevin at the club, Ronald Koeman and Steve Walsh can prioritise their time into looking at other areas.
“Everton are returning to Europe as well next season so there will be a bigger need for squad rotation. For those reasons alone it makes sense.
“Mirallas has, of course, been in and out of the team under Koeman and consistency is what lets him down but he has the ability to change games and make things happen – we just need to see it more often.”
The Belgian knows all about playing European football at Goodison Park and was part of the squad that competed in the Europa League during the 2014/15 campaign.
Everton were knocked out in the Round of 16 but Mirallas had a decent campaign in Europe, scoring three goals in only five appearances.
In other Everton news, the club are considering a bid for this £18million-valued defender who turned down Barcelona.