Valencia hardly arrived at Goodison Park on the back of a prolific spell, but he could be forgiven for expecting an opportunity.
It’s been a strange season for the Ecuadorian international so far, playing in just 48 minutes of Premier League action since joining on loan from West Ham while allegedly evading the police amid a disagreement over unpaid child maintenance by jumping onto a medical van and fleeing the stadium during his country’s World Cup qualifying defeat to Chile in October.
Perhaps most strangely of all, Valencia has played more minutes in the top flight with The Hammers than at his new club, making three starts under Slaven Bilic before being picked up by Koeman on transfer deadline day on a season long loan deal.
This is despite the anonymity of Arouna Kone, and the inconsistency of Kevin Mirallas and Gerard Deulofeu, with Everton’s reliance on Romelu Lukaku becoming increasingly concerning with the team mustering just one goal in their last three Premier League games.
However, with The Toffees facing up to the prospect of seven top flight fixtures in just five weeks between December and early January, Koeman may have to resort to rotation to keep his squad fresh, something that Valencia is hoping will prove a benefit to his personal ambitions.
“Hopefully I can play more games in this busy time over Christmas,” the 2014 World Cup star told evertonfc.com. “I really want to be a part of the team and hopefully there will be a lot of rotation with players coming in and out. Hopefully I can play my part.”
As reported by the BBC, Everton have the option of signing Valencia permanently at the end of the season for £14.5 million.
However, five substitute appearances, and no goals to boot, are hardly making the decision a difficult one thus far, with a nagging feeling suggesting Valencia was merely a last resort after attempts to sign Lucas Perez came to nothing.