Despite showing a lot of promise in their first couple of fixtures, things have since taken a turn for the worse at Everton with the club on the receiving end of back-to-back Premier League defeats to West Ham and Arsenal.
Marco Silva’s men lost 2-0 to Arsenal last Sunday at the Emirates and now find themselves sitting in 12th place on six points and, once again, showed their defensive frailties at the Emirates.
During the summer, the Toffees brought in the likes of Kurt Zouma and Lucas Digne to help them out in that department, but the pair have yet to offer the defensively solidity supporters would have hoped for.
With that in mind, Evertonians will be desperate to see other central defensive signing Yerry Mina quickly recover from his foot injury and form what they will hope is a solid partnership alongside Zouma.
Central defence has been an area of concern at Everton for some time now with captain Phil Jagielka ageing and signings such as Michael Keane and Ashley Williams not coming off.
Considering such, the acquisition of Zouma on loan from Chelsea was a shrewd one. The 23-year-old has stagnated somewhat because of a long-term injury picked up back in 2016, while he was part of the Stoke City side who were relegated to the Championship at the end of last season.
However, the Frenchman is still a solid defender, who in time, should offer Everton plenty at the back.
Dominant in the air largely due to his incredible jumping reach, Zouma is a central defender blessed with tremendous pace which he is able to use in order to make clean and game-defining recovery tackles.
The France international has struggled in Everton’s recent losses, but he has too much ability for his performances not to get better.
TT Grade: B+
Much like Zouma, Mina’s biggest strength is his aerial prowess. At 6’5″, unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old is often unrivalled when going up for headers — something he showed in Russia at the recent World Cup.
For Colombia, Mina scored three headers — including the equaliser against England in the first knockout round — and it is that sort of aerial superiority Everton need in their defence to help fix some of the team’s problems at the back.
By no means will Mina be an instant fix for the Toffees; the team’s defensive problem, at times, can look like a collective one rather than just constant mistakes from an individual.
And as for Mina, other than a few very poor appearances at Barcelona, the Colombia international has no other experience playing in one of Europe’s top leagues. There could be a lengthy adaptation process for him.
That being said, the former Barcelona man still has the makings of a quality defender, perfectly suited to the Premier League
TT Grade: B+
Going into the new season, Everton were in desperate need of central defenders who would improve the side.
And in Zouma and Mina, they definitely have that although it may take some time before it becomes visible.
Regarding Zouma and Mina specifically, the pair are central defenders who possess very similar qualities.
Mina’s performances at the World Cup, however, just about edges things in his favour in this battle.