Gareth Barry praises Arouna Kone and strike partnership with Romelu Lukaku

Arouna Kone

Arouna Kone scored his first Everton hat-trick in the weekend's 6-2 win over Sunderland in the Premier League.

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry has said he is pleased that Arouna Kone is finding his form at Everton after a couple of difficult seasons through injury which followed his move from Wigan Athletic. 

Kone scored his first hat-trick for the club in their 6-2 win over Sunderland at Goodison Park yesterday as he and fellow strike partner Romelu Lukaku - who found the net once himself - cause more Premier League defences problems. 

Barry told the Liverpool Echo: “Arouna has had a couple of tough years with injury and people have questioned the transfer fee but we’ve seen glimpses, in training, over those two years so we knew that when he is fit and had a run of games then he would be able to do what he did on Sunday.

“Him and Rom are striking up a good relationship and understanding and are a partnership that are causing problems.

“It is not too often you see teams play with two strikers now.

“The manager has tried to get Arouna in the team with Rom because they are both goal-scoring threats and today showed that.”

Lukaku has established himself as the number one striker at the club since his £28 million move from Chelsea subsequent to his season-long loan spell on Merseyside.

Kone's goals along with the Belgians now show that this side should rarely struggle for goals, as they did at times in the Premier League last season as they aren't solely reliant on Lukaku. The main concern for Everton will be keeping both of their forwards fit just so they have as many options as possible.

His hat-trick yesterday took the 31-year-old on to five goals for the season with the hope that he will at least be in double figures in the league alone pretty soon. Prior to this season he had only found the net once for the Toffees, and there was perhaps little expectation he would play a frontline role for the side this season. So far, his performances are proving to be something of an important bonus for Roberto Martinez's side.

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