Ever since the appointment of Roberto Martinez as Everton manager, Arouna Kone has been linked with a transfer from relegated Wigan Athletic. The powerfully built, eccentric centre forward maybe 29 years old but he proved in his one season in the Premier League that he has the attributes and potential to make a real impact at Goodison Park.
That move was all but confirmed by new Wigan manager Owen Coyle on Monday evening, with the former Burnley and Bolton manager speaking to Radio 5 Live and explaining that Kone had his heart set on a move to Goodison to be re-united with his former manager at Everton. The transfer fee is £5m and not the £6m quoted in some national papers, with the only remaining stumbling block, the method of payment, with Everton preferring to pay in installments and Wigan pushing for the entire fee upfront.
Kone has enjoyed a colourful career, which has taken in destinations including, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Germany and now the Premier League in England. Aside from a difficult spell at Savilla, where Kone suffered a cruciate knee injury, he has scored goals wherever he has played, with a return on average of a goal every three games.
At ‘5 ft 11 in’ tall, Kone is not the tallest of strikers, but he is physically very strong, which has helped him adapt quickly to the demands of the English game and possess excellent technique which makes him an ideal centre forward for the type of football Martinez would like to employ at Goodison Park. In his one and only season at Wigan, Kone scored 13 goals in 39 appearances, showing a poachers instinct on his way to scoring 11 Premier League goals to make him Wigan’s top scorer.
During last season’s league encounter between Everton and Wigan at the DW Stadium, Kone produced an almost unplayable first half display, which left Johnny Heitinga, a World Cup finalist in tatters, shattering his confidence for the remainder of the season and forcing David Moyes to withdraw his player of the year during the half time interval. Kone’s performance was monstrous, scoring one and using his electric pace and power to create a second goal for Di Santo as the Latics took a 2-1 lead at the interval. Any Evertonian unhappy with the potential signing of Kone, only needs to watch the highlights of that game to realize what an excellent addition Kone will be.
After his impressive introduction to the Premier League, Roberto Martinez was quick to praise the Ivorian international.
“For me he’s a sensational footballer, a very important player for us (Wigan). I would say he has been invaluable for us,” he told reporters.
“We’ve been very impressed at how he has settled in this league. For any striker that comes into the Premier League it takes time for them to get to know the physicality and tempo of the game, but right away he adapted really well.”
“Although he is enjoying the best moments of his career, the best is still to come.”
Have a quick look at the YouTube video below and let us know your comments on the impending arrival of Kone at Goodison Park.