Everton defender Yerry Mina has opened up on the tough times he endured at Goodison Park following his summer arrival from FC Barcelona on the back of starring at the 2018 World Cup.
Mina thrived in Russia and became Colombia’s second-most prolific goalscorer in World Cup history when he hit his third headed goal of the tournament against England in the Round of 16.
Weeks after the encounter in Moscow, the centre-back packed his belongings and headed for Merseyside after we agreed a £27.19million deal with Barcelona, to sign a player former head coach Marco Silva described as someone capable of being “very strong at defensive and offensive set-pieces.”
Silva rarely was able to call on Mina during their maiden campaigns at Goodison Park, though, as the Guachene-born defender was plagued by injuries, including one he carried with him at the time of his arrival.
A foot injury sustained in the summer led to Mina missing 18 games, before later suffering a hamstring strain that would keep him out of action for a further seven fixtures.
But he has been a mainstay of the action for most of the current season, with Silva able to call on the 25-year-old for all bar one of the Premier League matches he oversaw before being fired, while Mina was again sidelined at the weekend for our win over Chelsea.
Mina has now revealed that the lengthy absences he endured last term left him feeling demotivated, but knew he needed to keep his motivation levels high.
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“It is hard when you’re not playing because your belief can go down, you can feel demotivated,” he told the club’s matchday programme, via quotes by the Liverpool Echo.
“But you need to be strong and help those who are playing, act as if you are involved on the pitch, because we need to be united and pulling in the same direction. I am always trying to be positive and thinking: ‘How can I help the team?’
“It is hard, as you would expect, you don’t want people feeling they have to put up with you. But it happens to everyone, you go through happy and sad times. I try to remain level-headed, to not let either the highs or lows affect me, in the sense of not getting carried away with either emotion.
“I think about what I have achieved and remember no one has handed me anything to be here. I have done this through hard work.”
In other Everton news, the club are plotting a €4m deal to land a forward with 17 career Premier League goals.