Everton midfielder Kevin Mirallas can return to his best during international break, says Roberto Martinez
By Conor Creamer
Last Updated: 07/11/17 10:05pm
Belgium manager Roberto Martinez is confident Everton midfielder Kevin Mirallas can use the international break to recapture his best form.
Mirallas has endured a frustrating start to the new Premier League season at the Merseyside club, starting just one of their opening 11 games, in which he was substituted at half-time.
The 30-year old denied reports on Tuesday that he was recently sent home from Everton training for poor behaviour, insisting it was due to a managerial decision.
However, Belgium and former Toffees' boss Martinez believes the nation's friendlies against Mexico on Friday and Japan next Tuesday are an opportunity for the midfielder to put his start behind him and kick-start his season once more.
"First and foremost we need to help him," said Martinez. "Kevin Mirallas is a winner and at the moment he's going through a little bit of a difficult time and we need to understand him and try and give him a bit of support.
"From that point on he's got an opportunity to impress and go back to performing in the way that he can. It's been difficult; I know the situation inside-out.
"I don't think the story that has come out is entirely true but it's important now that he can have a little bit of new start with the international team. When he finishes he needs to go back and make sure he finds his best in the first XI."
Mirallas, who joined Everton for £6m in 2012, signed a new three-year contract with the club in May and Martinez is confident the player is capable of helping the Blues improve their 15th-place position in the league.
"The understanding is that he is desperate to be part of the team and at the moment it's been a very, very difficult month at his club and it is normal that it's becoming a little bit of an emotional period," added Martinez.
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"Kevin is an experienced footballer now and he needs to act in that manner and all he wants is to become available for his club and fight for Everton and try to help the team off the pitch.
"I just saw him before, he's in a good frame of mind and now I think the period with the national team is a good opportunity for him to show what he can do."