Kevin Mirallas is settling into Everton role in time for Manchester United trip

Injury-plagued Belgian international is raring to go at Old Trafford while Rooney is also fit and ready to face his former club

It is hard enough settling into English football even at full fitness. When the same injury problem occurs three or four times, doubts inevitably intrude.

"Hamstring" was a word that peppered more conversations than Everton's Belgian international forward Kevin Mirallas would have wished in the first six months of his career on Merseyside after signing from Olympiacos last summer. Consequently Evertonians are reserving judgement, for all the promise of adding some real pace to the attack, which began with having a goal disallowed on his debut in August, plus scoring twice and adding an assist in the Capital One Cup victory over Leyton Orient.

A useful first Mersey derby debut was then cut short by an already familiar injury. By Christmas, the club were sufficiently concerned to agree he should travel to Germany to see Hans Müller-Wohlfahrt, the Bayern Munich doctor who had been recommended by his best friend in football, the former Manchester City defender Daniel van Buyten. Müller-Wohlfahrt, who has also treated Usain Bolt and the England captain, Steven Gerrard, is renowned for some unusual remedies, including injections derived from calf's blood, and Mirallas claims to be feeling the benefit.

"From the very first injection, I started to feel an improvement – it was incredible," Mirallas said. "I don't know what it was, but it's worked so far. Let's hope the injuries are finally behind me and I can get a run of games together again. I decided to turn to Hans because if he's on the staff of Bayern Munich, he's there for a reason. He did a good job for me and it's been a case of so far, so good."

Mirallas hopes to play against Manchester United at Old Trafford today, although he will be aware that it was after he came off at home to Aston Villa last weekend that Everton recovered from 3-1 down to equalise with two goals from his better-known compatriot Marouane Fellaini. The pair played together at the European Under-21 Championships in 2007 and Mirallas says Fellaini was instrumental in persuading him to move from Piraeus to Merseyside. Now he is concerned that their partnership should not be broken up this summer.

"I had a few offers from other clubs but the most important thing was coming to a club who really believed in me. A club which had total confidence in me and would allow me to play games," he said.

"I have known Marouane for a long time and he convinced me of all of those things and that Everton would be the place for me. We count on him and we definitely want him to stay. A few clubs have shown an interest, and if someone made Everton a big offer he could leave because that's how football works. But definitely we want him to stay."

As ever, Wayne Rooney will be a centre of particular interest against his old club, albeit suffering less abuse than in away games back at Goodison. "When he first went to Goodison, the crowd was giving him a lot of stick and maybe it did affect him a little bit," Sir Alex Ferguson said. "He's missed a couple through injury at Everton, he scored last season against them, but I don't think it will be a problem at Old Trafford."

United's manager was for once content to see a United player have a full 90 minutes for England in midweek, having suggested that Rooney tends to need three matches or more to return to his best after injury. "I spoke with the manager through the week and wanted to play the full game because I feel in a good run of form at the minute and I tend to play better when I'm playing all the games," Rooney said.

Manchester United v Everton is on Sky Sports 1 today, kick-off 4pm

Rooney: Wilshere is just like my idol, the young Paul Gascoigne

The tributes being paid to Jack Wilshere's maturing talents have continued, with Wayne Rooney saying the Arsenal midfielder is the closest thing he has seen to his own idol, Paul Gascoigne. Rooney, who was thrilled to train with Gascoigne as a young Everton player, said: "Probably the closest thing I've seen to him is Jack, where he gets the ball and runs at players. He's a lot quicker and a lot stronger than people realise."

England's first goal against Brazil was a good example of those qualities, owing much to Wilshere's driving run at the defence and perfectly placed through-pass to Theo Walcott, whose shot was pushed out by the goalkeeper, Julio Cesar, only as far as Rooney. "It's great to see such a young player come in, against a team like Brazil and put in a performance like that," he added. Gascoigne's present problems — he has checked into a US rehab clinic — have touched Rooney, who recalled: "I was only 14 or 15, but for Everton to sign a player of that stature was incredible. To see some of the stuff he could do with the ball. It was towards the end of his career, but he still had a big impact on games."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders