Kevin Mirallas, who most recently joined Antwerp in the summer on a free transfer, has opened up surrounding his Everton exit – claiming he wanted to depart sooner than he did back to his homeland Belgium.
Speaking to Het Nieuwsblad [via Sport Witness], the 32-year-old revealed all about his last couple of years at Everton and the details surrounding his season-long loan move to Fiorentina last season.
The Belgian winger was a mainstay at Goodison Park for five seasons, becoming a real fan favourite in his time with the Toffees.
Over the course of five years, Mirallas quickly established himself as one of Everton’s most exciting players – no doubt helped by scoring in a 3-3 Merseyside derby draw against Liverpool.
The winger also amassed 27 goals and 19 assists over his long spell, as per WhoScored.com, with the majority of them coming in his first couple of seasons with the club.
However, they say all good things come to an end, and Mirallas’ family in particular were starting to feel homesick – yearning for a return across the channel.
He told Het Nieuwsblad [via Sport Witness]: “After fifteen years it was time to return. My wife and son in particular had a harder time with it. Every time changing schools and starting from scratch started to weigh, Juan always asked about his nephews.
“I had offers from Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Qatar in the summer…. I have earned enough money. I already told my agent in March that I wanted to return to Belgium.”
The former Olympiacos man then explained how he had offers from some of Belgium’s biggest clubs, including Club Brugge and Standard Liege, but Everton’s price tag was too high for any of these clubs to meet, as per Het Nieuwsblad [via Sport Witness].
“Vincent Kompany has called me several times. But it was also impossible for Anderlecht to pay that price. Finally, I waited until I could have my contract dissolved and signed as a free player at Antwerp.”
Mirallas, so far this campaign, seems to be strutting his stuff in the Belgian first division – netting a goal and providing an assist inside seven games.
Indeed, it is debatable whether or not Mirallas could have stuck it out in England for an additional couple of seasons.
Clearly he still possesses the flair to make a difference, but you could also argue family comes before football – and maybe it was time for the Belgian to return home.
Everton fans, what do you make of Mirallas’ comments about wanting to go back to Belgium? Share your views by commenting below!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!