After Saturday’s disappointing result against Leicester City and the three injuries that Frank Lampard noted after the game, tonight’s EFL Cup fixture with Bournemouth seems to have lost a level of importance to Everton.
Instantly the Premier League has regained full focus, as there will be a fear of falling into a similar position that led to such dramatics last season.
With that in mind, Lampard will have a fine balancing act when it comes to the cup game, to put out a side that is competitive but allowing his more important players to rest for the bigger repeat fixture on Saturday.
Although the Colombian would have a tough task displacing either of the aforementioned stalwarts at centre-back permanently, before their summer arrivals he was regarded as the best defender at Goodison Park when fit.
The only issue was, and clearly remains, that he was never fit.
Last season, despite missing large parts of the season, the 28-year-old boasted a 36% win percentage, up from 19% in his absence.
Paddy Boyland outlined this in his tweet, where he claimed that the: “Defence looks much more solid when Mina is there.”
During this time, he averaged 0.9 tackles and 2.8 clearances per game whilst boasting a 67% success rate with the duels he would compete in, via SofaScore.
In the past Everton have been reliant on his fitness to save their defensive woes, but with these newcomers, this burden is somewhat lifted.
Perhaps now he could have the platform to finally build up some fitness without the necessity to rush him back, starting with tonight’s first game of the week against the Cherries.