Everton striker Arouna Kone can’t wait to have his second debut for Everton on Thursday after his return from injury.
The Everton manager Roberto Martinez admitted that Kone – who has been side-lined due to a knee injury - will start for the Toffees when they play their final Europa League Group stage fixture against Krasnodar.
After recent playing-time with the Everton’s Under-21 side, Kone is delighted to be back with the first team.
“It is going to be absolutely fantastic,” said the striker. “I am really excited about the game. It has been such a long wait. To tell you the truth, it feels like making my first ever appearance of my career all over again!
“It’s like making my debut for Everton for a second time. I have been really motivated to get back with the first team and Thursday is going to present that opportunity.
“It is a special occasion for the Club as well and we are hoping for a great performance for the fans in order to celebrate qualification into the next round.”
Kone has been out for over a year due to his injury but is happy to be back and says he feels great in training.
“Any player will tell you that the most difficult months are those when you are out injured,” he continued. “I have had two cruciate injuries but I wasn’t out as long as this. This has been similar but far more complicated. I have had to really be patient.
“I feel a lot better now and in every training session I feel great. The time has come where I can now make my return. We have taken our time with the injury and now I am on the eve of my first game.
“Having the support of the manager and the fans has kept me going. It gave me an incentive and a cause to work harder. I even missed the majority of my summer break to work on my recovery.
“I have not talked to the manager about how long I will play but I want to feature as much as possible - as long as I physically can last. Hopefully I will get as long an opportunity as possible.
“It’s going to be a special night and hopefully we can put on a performance for the team and the fans.”
Witeen by Thinkfootballideas staff