Atalanta's Marten De Roon can make point to former suitors Everton in Europa League

Ronald Koeman, Manager of Everton shows appreciation to the fans after Premier League match between Everton and Watford at Goodison Park on May 12, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

Former Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon admitted earlier in the year that he would jump at the chance to sign for Everton.

Marten de Roon of Middlesbrough celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Middlesbrough at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2016 in...

Marten de Roon insisted that he was ‘incredibly lucky’ to get a chance in English football with Middlesbrough last season but believed that if he wanted to prove himself at the top if the Premier League he would have to aim a little higher.

"I won't get to play for Manchester City, or another club among the top five in England. But I do think that I can develop myself to the level needed to play for a club like Everton,” the Dutch midfielder, who cost Boro £12 million from Atalanta last year, told The Sun.

In the end, however, a move to Goodison Park did not materialise despite The Mail reporting in May that scouts from Everton had watched De Roon in action during the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea which sealed Boro’s relegation.

Marten de Roon of Middlesbrough and Diego Costa of Chelsea in action Antonio Barragan of Middlesbrough during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge...

Instead, De Roon returned to Atalanta – and he has a chance to prove a point to Everton on Thursday evening as The Toffees begin their Europa League campaign against the Serie A high-flyers. Ronald Koeman's side travel to Reggio Emilia for what is likely to be a tough test in a group also containing Ligue 1 giants Lyon and Cypriot minnows Apollon Limassol.

Audition

And the one-time Netherlands international, who stood out as Atalanta defeated Sassuolo 2-1 at the weekend, is expected to start at the heart of midfield and will need to be at his snarling best if Gian Piero Gasperini’s side are to stop The Toffees leaving Italy with at least one point.

Head coach Ronald Koeman of Everton is seen during a preseason friendly match between FC Twente and Everton FC at Sportpark de Stockakker on July 19, 2017 in De Lutte, Netherlands.

De Roon, a tenacious and energetic central midfielder, will be relied upon to stop Everton’s dangermen, namely Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen, scoring or creating from deep.

And, if he impresses, De Roon could do worse than to remind Everton of his desire to ply his trade at Goodison Park.

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