Martinez: Mirallas important to us

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Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists there is no truth to the rumours that Kevin Mirallas will leave the club during the January transfer window.

The Belgium international has found game-time hard to come by this season, making just one start and four appearances off the bench in the Premier League.

Despite having signed a contract extension during the off-season, Mirallas has been linked with a departure from Goodison Park in the New Year amid speculation he has fallen out of favour with Martinez.

But the Spaniard denied the conjecture and claimed the 28-year-old winger remained an integral part of his future plans for the Toffees.

"It couldn't be further from the truth," Martinez said. "Kevin has been a very important player while I've been at the football club.

"The start of the season has been challenging for him individually as he's had a couple of niggles, a couple of injuries. Then he had the sending-off, so he wasn't available for three games.

"The way he's been working in training has been very impressive. I think he's improved as a footballer and it's important for us that Kevin is fresher now going into the second half of the season, and we'll get the benefit of that.

"Kevin Mirallas is a very important player for Everton, he knows that, and all he wants now is to get important playing time, because the start of the season has been quite frustrating for him."

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