Gutted about the result tonight especially conceding so late on, but glad to get 70 minutes after so long not playing.— Aaron Lennon (@Aaron7Lennon) February 12, 2015
Despite seeing their four-game unbeaten Premier League run come to an end after a dramatic late Willian goal, Everton winger Aaron Lennon still had reason to celebrate his side’s 1-0 defeat at Chelsea.
Arriving on a six-month loan from Tottenham Hotspur before the transfer deadline, the England international had made just three starts in nine top-flight games this season before arriving at Goodison Park, with manager Mauricio Pochettino restricting most of his action to the Europa League.
However, after a second-half debut in the weekend’s 0-0 draw with Liverpool, Roberto Martinez moved to hand his new signing his first start in over two months for the trip to Stamford Bridge, where he lasted 74 minutes before going off for Kevin Mirallas.
There was nothing wrong with his work-rate on the night but, after seeing limited first-team opportunities over the first half of the season, the former Leeds United man’s rustiness was more than evident.
With Cesar Azpilicueta keeping him quiet on the right flank, Toffees fans will hope to see their latest arrival start to replicate his past form over the coming months once he has more minutes under his belt, as the team aim to improve upon what’s so far been an underwhelming campaign.
In addition, if he impresses then there could well be the chance of a permanent switch at the end of the campaign, although Lennon himself is not thinking about that scenario at this stage.
I just want to try and get as many games as I can first and that will be tough with the players Everton have got,” he told the Guardian earlier this week. “That’s my immediate aim, to help Everton as much as I can.
“I don’t think it’s about proving myself again but I’ve not played much football this season and sometimes you need to show your level to stop people forgetting about you. Hopefully I remind people quickly at Everton.”