Roberto Martinez: Everton’s Arouna Kone will be 'very important' this season

Everton Goodison 2

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Arouna Kone will start for the side against FC Krasnodar on Thursday evening.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes that Arouna Kone can be an important player for the side between now and the end of the season.

Although the Ivorian striker has been out injured for over a year with injury, Martinez believes that he can still play a crucial role. 

The Toffees have a lot of quality in attacking positions this season, but the Spanish boss feels that Kone can still make an impact for the team. 

"We’re looking forward to seeing him make a new start to his Everton career because it’s been frustrating and very difficult to cope with an injury of that magnitude," Martinez said at a press conference today. “But he’s back and I think he will be a very important player for us between now and the end of the season.

“You don’t have to be necessarily fully fit to do the things he does well in terms of his hold-up play and role as a target man.

"So I think we can expect to see Arouna Kone enjoying his football and having a big role on the pitch without being at his very, very best which will come with games and match fitness."

Kone is yet to score in an Everton shirt, but he has only been able to play seven games since picking up an injury after his move from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2013. 

The 31-year-old is behind Samuel Eto'o and Romelu Lukaku for a starting position up front at the moment, but he will be hoping to prove his worth for the Toffees soon.

So far his only action since returning from injury has been for the club's development side. Kone has played two games for the U21's in the past month and scored in his last appearance against Sunderland. 

It was a sign of the quality that he has at his disposal and Martinez will be determined to nurture him back to the sort of form which saw him score 11 times in the 2012/13 campaign for Wigan. 

Kone is likely to be on the substitutes' bench for Everton when they take on Manchester City in what looks a tough test.

He will, though, be part of the senior squad's starting line-up when they take on FC Krasnodar in the Europa League in midweek. 

“He will start against Krasnodar in the Europa League which will be a great moment for him," Martinez confirmed. 

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch