With 12 Premier League games remaining, Everton must start picking up points in order to avoid relegation, and Yerry Mina could be the man to assist in securing the Toffees’ top-flight status.
Sean Dyche’s side face a stern test at the weekend with the visit of Brentford to Goodison Park, and while the Bees will be no pushovers with a run of 12 unbeaten games, many fans will consider it a must win with visits to Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford coming up.
Indeed, £27m ‘King Yerry’ was recalled to the starting XI in May last year, as Everton welcomed Chelsea to Goodison Park, when in desperate need of points on the board.
The Toffees started the day five points adrift of safety with just five games remaining, and were desperate for a win. Yet, it wasn’t just his defensive awareness that helped Everton get over the line, but his proclivity to wind up the opposition, get under their skin and provoke a reaction. He did just that against Chelsea, with Cesar Azpilicueta and Kai Havertz memorably rattled, and that is just what Everton need right now.
While the much-missed samba star Richarlison deservedly grabbed the headlines, his strike early in the second half earning Everton a 1-0 win, there was a South American contribution defensively, as Colombian international Mina was immense at centre-back.
Mina could keep Everton safe again- if he can stay fit
At fault for Aston Villa’s second goal in the 2-0 defeat last month, Sean Dyche dropped Connor Coady to the bench for the past two fixtures with Michael Keane taking his place alongside James Tarkowski. Everton have shipped six goals in those two fixtures, and while Keane bagged himself an assist against Nottingham Forest, he remains a worry at the back.
A defensive pairing of the excellent Tarkowski alongside Yerry Mina would give Everton a fearsome partnership at the back, and one capable of deploying every trick in the book to gain an advantage.
The only concern in starting the 28-year-old is his persistent injury concerns, which have plagued his time at Goodison Park. However, with Everton having survived relegation by just four points last season the victory against Chelsea, with an individual masterclass from Mina was crucial.
If we only get one more game out of him this season, but it gets us three points, I believe Yerry Mina is a risk worth taking.