Martinez: Kone is a very complete striker

    Aroune Kone’s at his peak, says Roberto Martinez

    Age will not be a bar to  Arouna Kone making a  success of his Everton career  if, as expected, the Ivory  Coast international  completes a £6.5m switch  from Wigan.

    After a previously  acknowledged transfer  policy which focused on  recruiting younger players  with potential sell-on value –  with a handful of notable  exceptions – some fans have  raised eyebrows at the  Toffees spending a  significant sum on a striker  who turns 30 in November.

    But manager Roberto Martinez, who brought Kone  to England last summer and  has followed his career for  many years, has no age  concerns.

    “Arouna had a big injury to his cruciate and missed one and a half years. That can sometimes be negative,  but in his case it was the  opposite.

    “It refreshed him and he is  a young 29-year- old,” said  the Blues boss.

    “He’s at the peak of his career.

    “When you get a player  where from  the physical  point of  view, to the  tactical and  the  technical he  is in peak  condition, it  really  excites you  and that’s  where Arouna is.

    “He had a  fantastic  move from  Holland to  Seville for  big, big  money  where he had a little bit of  trouble with inconsistency  and injuries, but now he is  back to his very, very best  and he will be a  big asset.

    “Everyone would understand that he brings  something different to what  we have at the football club at  the moment.”

    As talks continue with Wigan Martinez  stressed: “Nothing  has been  confirmed  with Arouna.

    “But it  has been  made  public that  we have  made an  approach and  we’re still  dealing with it.”

    But he insisted  that if the  negotiations are  successfully completed  the Blues would be  recruiting a “complete  striker” who would increase  competition for places in a  crucial department of the  team.

    “He’s a very complete  striker,” he added.

    “You don’t get many  foreign  strikers who  come to this  league and  settle in  straight  away and be  consistent  over a  season, but  Arouna did  that.

    “He’s  powerful,  his play  with his  back to the  game is very  strong, he  links up  really well,  he can see a pass in the final  third and he is a clinical  finisher.

    “All in all he is a very  rounded footballer. He is  experienced.

    “He has been in Germany,  been in Holland, in Spain and  he has been top goalscorer in  many countries.

    “Now he is competing for  the Ivory Coast and we all  know that they always  produce outstanding strikers  so he is a little bit of a  combination, but I would say  that he is a very experienced  footballer.”

    Martinez also added that  Kone’s experience at  Goodison Park in March,  when a Wigan team which  had just comprehensively  ended Everton’s Wembley  ambitions was warmly  applauded off the pitch, was a  contributory factor in the  striker wanting to join the  Blues.

    “I think he was impressed with Goodison Park,” added Martinez.

    “His experience playing as an away player is something that gave him a great feeling and he was impressed – it  was something that hasn’t  happened to him too often.”

    Kone’s imminent arrival  casts some doubt on Nikica  Jelavic’s future, after the  Croatian endured a classic  case of second season  syndrome following his  explosive introduction from   Rangers.

    But Martinez refused to say whether the Ivorian would be a complement or a  replacement for the Croat.

    “I’m not looking into it that deeply,” he said.

    “At this stage of the season what I want is to have the strongest possible squad.

    “I think we need four players – one per position  –and that’s not looking at  players or individuals at the  moment, that’s just to start  the work in pre-season, allow  that competition that we  need and then just to be  aware that we need to go into  every competition to win.

    “When we go into the League Cup we expect to  have a strong squad, the FA  Cup the same and also the  League. And that’s looking at the youngsters as well.

    “I want to get the strongest possible squad.

    “That’s not looking at any individuals. Good players can always play together –  and good players are  needed.

    “I followed Arouna for many years before we managed to work together  and I thought his  introduction into the  Premier League was  impressive.

    “He will be a massive asset to the dressing room on the understanding that we have  quite a few good strikers at  the club already.

    “All we want is to be stronger after every window and that’s what we are going  to try to do.”

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    1. Al take him , but I think Martinez style of football will suit jelevic so I think we probably will see a better jelly next season , lets hope Roberto is a manager who does not turn proven goal scores into wingers ala Beattie Johnson the yak an jelly , kone and jelly up front and us finally playing 4 4 2 sounds good to me


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