Everton manager Roberto Martinez has heaped praises on Ivorian international Arouna Kone who scored a first Everton hat-trick in Sunday’s 6-2 thrashing of Sunderland.
Martinez who will be buoyed by Kone’s hat-trick given the Ivory Coast international has yet to make a telling impression since he left Wigan for £6m in July 2013, having missed much of the last two seasons with a knee injury.
Kone’s 35th Everton appearance on Sunday meant he has now triggered a new 12-month extension to his existing contract to the delight of the Everton head coach, describing the encounter’s man of the match as a phenomenal story.
“Arouna Kone is just a phenomenal story. He has had one injury but it has been a career-threatening injury and it takes a long time to come back from it.
“We have seen a Kone that was ready to perform for the team, but I thought his overall play was outstanding, not just the goals but the way he played with others. At the end, the fans were singing his name.” Martinez said as quoted on BBC Sports.
The visitors twice hit the post early on but Everton went ahead when Kone played Gerard Deulofeu over the top before scoring the second himself.
Jermain Defoe’s fine individual goal and Steven Fletcher’s header levelled matters but three quick Everton goals changed the course of the game.
Sebastian Coates’ own goal, Romelu Lukaku’s solo effort and Kone’s second arrived before he headed in late on.