Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford is confident that Yerry Mina can be the one to step into the void left by Kurt Zouma returning to Chelsea, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
The Blues had attempted to bring another central defender to Goodison Park before the summer window slammed shut, having fallen short in our efforts to turn Zouma’s loan deal into a permanent arrangement.
Manchester United pair Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo were both targeted late in the window for loan deals, but saw deals ruled out when the Red Devils would only discuss permanent moves and demanded £30m and £25million respectively for their services.
Mina was already at Finch Farm, though, and Pickford is confident that the 21-cap Colombian will utilise the chance to be a regular starter under Marco Silva, having suffered frequent injuries during his first season in Royal Blue.
“Yerry was here last year and Kurt was tremendous,” the £36million-rated goalkeeper said. “He’s at Chelsea, and he’s a top player, but Yerry is very good. He plays for Colombia, and we’ve got competition all over.
“We’ve got Michael [Keane] and Mason [Holgate] who has came back and JP [Gbamin], the new signing, can also fit in as well.”
“Michael is a very established player and as long as we’re all helping [Mina] – and his English is getting a lot better – that will make his job easier when he understands our – or my – English.
“He’s worked very hard with his English lessons, and I think that will help him become a top player in the Premier League.”
Former FC Barcelona man Mina started Everton’s Premier League curtain-raiser against Crystal Palace alongside Keane on Saturday, with the 24-year-old winning 75% of his aerial duels, 100% of his tackles, penning five clearances and recording three interceptions, according to WhoScored data.
Mina’s numbers ranked him top for aerial duels among Everton players and second overall, as well as ranking second for interceptions to Eagles ace Martin Kelly.