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Martinez wants happy Mirallas

Published 24/04/2015

Everton manager Roberto Martinez, right, believes keeping Kevin Mirallas happy is key to his future
Everton manager Roberto Martinez, right, believes keeping Kevin Mirallas happy is key to his future

Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists keeping Kevin Mirallas happy is key to holding on to him in the summer.

There has been plenty of speculation about the Belgium international and he even admitted himself in February he fancied a new challenge and had an ambition to play in the Champions League next season.

Injuries have prevented the 27-year-old from really finding his best form this campaign with a run of consistent performances but Martinez was delighted to see him score his first Premier League goal since December 28 in last weekend's win over Burnley.

There were reports this week Tottenham would try to make the forward part of a swap deal with their winger Aaron Lennon, who is currently on loan at Goodison Park.

However, Martinez backed Mirallas to put the continuing debate about his future to one side.

"The total honest truth is we don't know what is going to happen in the future," he said.

"I heard somewhere that he had one year left and it was a bit of an unsettled situation but that is not the case, he has two years left.

"I don't think it has ever been an issue. Sometimes there has been too much said on the outside.

"With any footballer now it does not matter whether you have one year or six years left, what is more important is being happy, feeling ready to be part of the project and be an important player going forward.

"When you see him on the pitch he is someone who brings a real desire to score goals, he brings us a goalscoring threat which is quite special and all I want is for Kevin to enjoy his football and carry on performing well.

"He is someone who takes responsibility on the pitch, wants to make things happen and scoring the goal was an important moment.

"Kevin has always been a really hard-working player day-to-day and I have seen him progressing but I have never seen an issue in his performances at all.

"The way he performed on Saturday showed that.

"In every window you have to sit down and make sure everyone who is fully committed is ready to be part of the future.

"I don't see that as being an issue we need to sort at this present time."

Goodison hosts two of the league's most in-form teams on Sunday with the Toffees, with four wins and a draw in their last five matches, facing Manchester United, with five wins in six.

Martinez believes the game presents the perfect environment to mark the death of former chairman Sir Philip Carter this week.

"To remember Sir Philip Carter - 30 years on from the second leg against Bayern Munich (en route to Everton's UEFA Cup-Winners' Cup) - is a special opportunity to look back and celebrate what he has brought to Everton," added the Toffees boss.

"We will make sure his legacy never ends here."

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