New Everton signing Kevin Mirallas reveals he turned down Arsenal opportunity
Tuesday 21 August 2012
New Everton signing Kevin Mirallas snubbed a move to Arsenal as he was
concerned about how much playing time he would get under Arsene Wenger.
The £6million signing from Olympiakos was, however, impressed by Toffees boss David Moyes and what clinched the deal was the advice of Belgium international team-mate Marouane Fellaini.
"Discussions were at quite an advanced stage with Arsenal but it was always clear it would be totally down to me to make the decision," said the 24-year-old.
"I was convinced that what was important for me at this stage of my career, embarking on new league, is to get plenty of time on the field.
"I had a possibility of playing more games and longer periods with Everton.
"A number of clubs were showing interest in me and my discussions with the manager here were very important.
"From the word go I was really impressed by the extent to which the manager wanted me here.
"Firstly he has been here for a good number of years and has a solid base so there is stability at the club.
"He also showed a lot of confidence in me in the conversations we had and he really wanted me to come to the club and that was another influence, definitely."
On how much Fellaini had helped him make his final choice he added: "Marouane being here was also decisive in making my decision also.
"We had a couple of phone conversations and it definitely influenced my decision.
"He convinced me the club was an ideal fit for me and hopefully it is a place where I can exploit my talents and grow as a player and perform well.
"He told me it was very much a family spirit about the place and I could expect a warm welcome from the fans.
"Not only has he helped me in coming to the club but I also think he will help me as I settle in as it is always nice to have a fellow countryman beside you when you are getting to know a place."
Mirallas, who signed a four-year deal on Sunday, was presented to the Goodison Park crowd before last night's 1-0 victory over Manchester United.
The forward said that gave him a taster of what to expect, and it was also good to see a fellow Belgian in top form.
"I am very proud and happy to have signed for Everton and I know it is a big club but when you add to what I saw last night, the atmosphere in the stadium and the way the team played, I am even happier now," he added.
"Everyone could see what influence Marouane had on the game and you can see what he brings to the side, he brings so much not only in attack but in defence.
"Chatting this morning everyone considers that to be one of his top performances for the club."
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