Martinez is starting life at Everton with Wigan influx

Posted by Luke O'Farrell

Paul Thomas/Getty ImagesArouna Kone is set to follow Roberto Martinez to Everton

Adjusting to his new surroundings, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has surrounded himself with familiar faces following a sea change around Goodison Park. Coaches Steve Round, Chris Woods and Jimmy Lumsden followed David Moyes to Old Trafford, while the departure of reserve team coach Andy Holden merely confirms the closing of the Moyes chapter.

Martinez has reinstated his trusted Wigan setup, as Graeme Jones, Kevin Reeves and Inaki Bergara join their boss in swapping the DW for Goodison; the trio also worked under Martinez at Swansea. Jones fills the assistant manager vacancy, Reeves is his chief scout and Bergara takes over as goalkeeping coach.

- Kone to join Everton 'this week'
- Martinez assembles Everton staff


Continuing the theme of familiarity, the first expected additions of the transfer window are players Martinez knows well. The new Everton manager is raiding his old stomping ground for the services of centre back Antolin Alcaraz and forward Arouna Kone, with the duo set to sign before the end of the week.

The moves represent good business for the club. The smallest squad in the league needs strengthening and two signings for an initial £5 million outlay is economical; Alcaraz is a free agent after his Wigan deal expired and Kone has a £5 million release clause.

Some will question the merits of signing a player who is 31-years-old this month (Alcaraz) and another turning 30 in November (Kone), but the evergreen Sylvain Distin is proof at 35-years-old that players can continue at the highest level beyond their 30th birthday.

The Alcaraz deal is a no-brainer due to the Paraguay international offering experienced cover in central defence. His arrival may pave the way for John Heitinga to depart and such a move would see Everton recoup a sizeable portion of the outlay used here.

A composed centre-back boasting an assurance in possession, traits lacking in the agricultural duo of Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin, Alcaraz fits the bill for the style of football Martinez favours. Nevertheless, fitness concerns remain as the defender managed just eight league starts last season. Although, an encouraging return to fitness at the end of the season did lead to a strong performance in the FA Cup success over Manchester City.

Supporters may query the Kone deal given his age and price tag, but few could forget the manner in which Kone dismantled Heitinga at the DW last season. Adding more variety to an attack in search of regular goals, it is worth comparing Kone with his soon to be team-mates.

The Ivorian managed 11 league goals and five assists in a relegated Wigan side. This more than commendable return reflects favourably by comparison; Victor Anichebe notched six goals and four assists, while Nikica Jelavic struggled for his seven goals and two assists.

Kone endured a torrid spell at Sevilla from 2007 to 2012, though most of the five-year spell saw Kone loaned elsewhere, the forward scoring just once in 40 appearances for the Spanish side. During a spell at La Liga newcomers Levante in 2011-12, the revitalised front man went on to register 15 goals in 34 matches, as the team qualified for the Europa League.

Supporters will hope Kone can thrive in a side that creates more chances. Either way, the sight of pre-season business is a welcome one at Goodison after years of scrambling around in the latter stages of transfer windows. Imprinting his own plans on Everton, the early signs are positive as Martinez aims to make his mark on Merseyside.

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