The Chalkboard: Yerry Mina must be protected at Everton

Yerry Mina made his long-awaited full Premier League debut for Everton in Sunday’s goalless draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

A foot injury meant that the summer arrival from Barcelona missed the early months of the campaign, but Mina is now fit, and will be looking to make his mark in England.

It is vital that Everton find a way to protect the 15-time Colombia international, however, as the fast pace of the Premier League could get the better of the centre-back.

The Chalkboard

Standing at 6ft 5in, pace was never going to be an asset for Mina. He actually has a decent turn of speed for a man of his size, but the likes of Sergio Aguero might relish playing against the huge South American.

On the flip side, Mina’s sizeable frame means that he is a huge threat from set pieces, and that was demonstrated at the 2018 World Cup.

Indeed, Mina netted against England from a corner in the first knockout round, and showed his aerial prowess against Chelsea at the weekend.

There were some nervy moments when Mina was asked to engage in a race, however, and Everton must find a way of ensuring that the defender receives the protection he needs to flourish in the Premier League.

How do Everton protect Mina?

In a back four, much will depend on the full-backs. Neither Seamus Coleman nor Lucas Digne are slow, and it might well be up to the latter to ensure that he protects Mina, particularly in the transitions.

A lot of onus will also be placed on the midfield, with Andre Gomes and Idrissa Gueye needing to ensure that at least one is always just ahead of Mina when the opposition has the ball.

The simple fact of the matter is that Everton never want Mina to be isolated as he simply does not have the pace to deal with certain situations.

If the Toffees can find a way around this particular issue though, they will have a player capable of dominating the aerial game, and one who could become a huge presence at Goodison Park.