No special treatment for Blues summer signing Arouna Kone
Roberto Martinez has said main summer signing Arouna Kone will not be given any special treatment as a revitalised Nikica Jelavic hands the Everton manager a welcome striking headache.
Ivory Coast international Kone has yet to find the target for his new club after following Martinez from Wigan for £5m last month.
Jelavic, though, has been in impressive form after a difficult time last campaign with his strike in Sunday’s 2-1 friendly win over Real Betis his fourth goal of pre-season.
And with Everton opening their Premier League campaign at Norwich City on Saturday, Martinez has stated form will be the only criteria determining who leads the attack.
“When I bring a player into the squad, it is to fight for the position,” said the Goodison manager.
“I want to see the strikers competing for places and I want football to make the decision. I don’t want it to be a case of ‘I’m bringing a player in, so he is the one that is going to start’.
“Football will decide. We are strong in that department and that position is still open for Saturday.
“And it is not just for the start of the season, All those players are going to be important for the campaign.”
Victor Anichebe has also played his part in pre-season, although the Nigerian was rested for the Betis victory having started the defeat to Valencia in Miami last week.
And Martinez, who can also call upon young Greek forward Apostolos Vellios, said: “Victor is the best in his type. We saw Victor playing against Juventus and he was really important in that game.
“Jela has incredible movement in the box, he can score a goal out of nothing and the sharpness in his movement in the box is something that you want the young players to watch and learn.
“Arouna is more of a powerful player who has a real ability to bring players into play and is someone who combines really well his movement, his touch and his power.
“So I want to keep it in that manner and competition and it will depend on moments of form and how they work in training. All three are going to be vital.”
Meanwhile, Martinez admits Darron Gibson is “touch and go” to be fit for Saturday’s visit to Carrow Road.
Gibson is undergoing treatment for the knee injury suffered against Betis, and Martinez said: “He is going to be touch-and-go for Saturday.
“He has got a little bit of a strain in his right knee. It’s something he picked up in the warm-up and he tried to run it off and get through the game but he couldn't.
“Knowing Darron, maybe he has got a chance for Saturday but it’s a little bit of a concern because he will need treatment and we’ll see how that knee reacts over the next 48 to 72 hours.”
Martinez also revealed Saturday’s match is likely to come too soon for injured trio Tony Hibbert, Antolin Alcaraz and Magaye Gueye.
“Tony is recovering really well,” said the Spaniard. “I don’t think he will be too far away but Saturday is a little bit too early. I don’t expect him to go too much longer without being available to join the group.
“Antolin Alcaraz is probably two weeks away from being back with the full group. Both are progressing well behind the scenes and the same can be said about Magaye (Gueye).”