Arouna Kone see’s the forthcoming season as an opportunity for him to prove his worth as a Everton player.

Kone joined Everton for £6m from Wigan in the summer, following Latics manager Roberto Martinez to Goodison Park.

But the striker has been unable to feature in his managers plans since sustaining a knee injury during his side’s 2-1 win over Hull on 19 October.

Speaking to evertontv, a Arouna Kone spoke of continuing his rehab over the summer ahead of the challenge to prove himself at Everton.

“The season coming for me is almost like where I have to prove my worth as a player and I accept that challenge and I’m ready to take that challenge on. It’s going to mean an awful lot when I do put that shirt back on and I’ll be doing my absolute level best to make sure that it’s a success”

“The most important thing is for me to be in the best possible shape I can be for the start of next season.

“That is why I am not going on holiday, I am staying in Europe to work hard over the summer period, so I can hit the ground running when pre-season starts in July.

“I spent the first three months of my rehab in Belgium and the manager (Roberto Martinez) was in constant contact.

“His advice and the confidence he has shown me has really helped me through this period.

“The plan is to go back to Belgium, to the rehab centre where I have been working, then I will come back to Finch Farm for a fitness check. Then I will go back to Belgium but I will be back before the rest of the team to start pre-season.”

As a team Everton have had a fantastic season which gives me a huge motivation to prepare for next season.

“On a personal side, it has not gone as I’d hoped. I look back with a bit of pain. I have not played as many games as I would have liked due to this injury. It is something I never thought would have happened.

“It is painful to sit in the stands and watch. I would often say to myself that the style of play I was watching would suit me down to the ground.”

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