Everton forward Kevin Mirallas says that under Ronald Koeman, The Blues bought players without knowing what they were doing.
The Belgian, currently on loan at Fiorentina, says that he was convinced by the Blues to sign a new deal in Koeman’s last year in charge of Everton, only to be dropped without explanation and have a move away from the club blocked.
Mirallas spent six years at Everton and, despite having almost 2 years left on his current contract, has no intention of ever returning to play for the Blues.
Speaking to Sport/Foot in Belgium, Mirallas goes some way to confirming what many Everton fans felt was going on under Koeman’s reign.
He said: “During Ronald Koeman’s first year, I wasn’t sure whether to renew my contract. Did I really want to stay here or try something new? Seeing my son happy at school, my wife’s joy and knowing how good I felt at the club eventually led me to sign for an extra three years.
“The club had warned us, using Ross Barkley as an example, they’d sign new players only if we didn’t sign new contracts. Ross didn’t, I did. In the end, they signed David Klaassen to replace him, then two weeks later Gylfi Sigurdsson, another number 10, and then 3-4 wingers.”
Mirallas says that the players and everyone at the club knew that the priority was to replace Romelu Lukaku, who had been sold to Manchester United in the summer, but it didn’t happen under Koeman.
““We all looked at each other confused,” he added.
“The priority was to replace Romelu Lukaku, but that didn’t happen. The manager bought, bought and bought and we had six catastrophic months. They’re small details, but when I arrived, the club felt like a family.
“When I left, I felt like it became a business where they bought without really knowing what they were doing.”
Mirallas drifted in and out of the first team, but says that he was never given any explanation by Koeman, who instead told him to call his agent to arrange a move if he wasn’t happy. Mirallas did so, only for the move to blocked by Everton in January this year before he went on loan.
On his return he played a number of games under Marco Silva in pre-season – scoring four in the first game under Silva – but opted to leave on loan in August.
The Belgian has clearly been left with a very bitter taste in his mouth, but says that he owes a lot to Everton.
He concludes, “I took a lot on the chin without realising. I could have easily turned down the new deal and earned more money elsewhere, but I didn’t want to leave Everton like a thief after all they’d given me.”