Everton manager Ronald Koeman should consider utilising out-of-favour winger Kevin Mirallas as he looks to turn around his side's ailing fortunes, according to former Toffees defender Michael Ball.
Mirallas, 30, has been a real source of frustration for Evertonians in recent months and does not seem to be held in high esteem by Koeman, who has used him rather fleetingly during the embryonic stages of the season.
The Belgium international is widely expected to leave the Toffees in the coming months and came close to departing in the summer, but he managed to deliver a lively cameo display against Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday (17 October) and provided Everton with some much-needed pace and a desire to run at opposition defenders.
Mirallas has infuriated Everton supporters for long stretches of his Goodison Park career, but Ball, who made 139 appearances during his five-year spell with the Merseysiders, has called on Koeman to give the former Olympiakos star an opportunity to "make a difference" and help drag his side out of the mess they find themselves in.
"Kevin Mirallas isn't the long term solution, but he wants to make a difference at the moment," Ball wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
It's easy to pass the ball backwards and sideways but you have to break the lines and as soon as you start driving forward, which Kevin did on a couple of occasions on Sunday, Brighton's defence started to look uncomfortable.
"We are missing players with pace like Seamus Coleman and Yannick Bolasie, so we need to use what players we have who can offer that. And Kevin is certainly one."
Everton spent around £140m on a host of new recruits during the summer, with Gylfi Sigurdsson proving to be the most expensive signing at £45m. The Iceland international certainly has not lived up to the billing so far and has admitted his start to life on Merseyside has not gone the way he would have liked, but the former Swansea City maestro does not think his new team are far away from producing positive results.
"It is not going as I hoped. No, of course not. For the team as well. Personally and collectively we are just off our best," Sigurdsson told the Daily Star.
"That is reflecting in individual performances. But it's small margins. I don't think we're a mile off getting results.
"A couple of scruffy wins would bring some confidence to the team and that's sometimes all you need.
"The next game is the most important one. We just need to win. Once we do that the confidence will come back into the team and things will become a bit easier for us.
"We just have to work our way through this. We are not scoring enough goals and we are conceding too many, I don't think we are too far away but things just aren't clicking."