Standing at an imposing 6 foot 5, Yerry Mina sticks out like a sore thumb on the football pitch. The giant Colombian cuts an intimidating figure in the Everton back-line, and with his tall and muscular frame, looks perfectly equipped for the physical nature of the Premier League.
Sadly for him, injuries have forced his career at Goodison Park to be rather stop-start, but against Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, he was at his imperious best. First lining up alongside Mason Holgate, and then next to Michael Keane from mid-way through the second-half, it was Mina who was the dependable constant in the Everton defence. And when looking at the underlying numbers, it is easy to see why he has become Everton’s leading central defender.
As per Sofascore, he won five of his seven duels, including all four that were contested in the air – perhaps not an impressive stat considering his ridiculous height. But he showed his tenacity on the floor too with two tackles, and really showed why he was picked up by Barcelona, with some superb work on the ball.
Whenever the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and the Arsenal attack tried to press the £27.1m man into making a mistake, Mina displayed a bit of the South American flair with a shimmy and quick turn. And once he had beaten them, the Colombia international showed off his range of passing. His 95% pass accuracy was the best of any Everton player who started the game, and he also successfully completed four of his five attempted long balls.
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It was a clean sheet borne from Mina’s solidity in defence, and composure in possession. And when Carlo Ancelotti takes training for the first time at Goodison Park, he will know that he has one reliable figure he can count on at the back.
Meanwhile, Everton fans have reacted to reports Carlo Ancelotti could try to sign one of his former stars.