Boss: Conor's Time To Shine

by Daniel Alston

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Roberto Martinez hopes Conor McAleny's freak injury problems are behind him, with the youngster ready to impress his manager in 2015.

The 22-year-old forward was loaned out to Brentford last term, but suffered a broken leg early into his spell at Griffin Park.

It ruled him out for much of 2013/14, but that did not prevent Martinez offering the Liverpool-born talent a three-year deal in the summer.

Looking to impress after a solid pre-season, McAleny then broke his collarbone on the eve of the new campaign.

He finally made his first senior start in December's Europa League game against FC Krasnodar at Goodison Park and has since been working his way back to full fitness.

And although Martinez believes the Academy graduate has been unlucky with his setbacks, he remains of the opinion that McAleny is finally ready to kickstart his career.

"I don't think Conor is an injury-prone player," he told evertontv. "I think what has happened is that he's had a long-term injury with breaking his leg during his loan spell at Brentford and when he came back he was looking really strong. 

"But when you come back from a long-term injury sometimes you pick up little niggles along the way and it stops you from having a consistent run in your work.

"He had a problem with his collarbone, which happened in a very unfortunate action where he was fighting for a ball - and those are the sorts of unfortunate moments he's had throughout his career so far. 

"I do feel now that he is fully fit and ready to fight for his place and enjoy his football.

"He's had several sessions under his belt for the first time in a while and that's really positive. The quicker we can see Conor available and fighting for his place the quicker we'll be able to see him showing his talent."

Martinez also suggested the striker could yet be handed another chance to showcase his talents out on loan, adding: "If I feel that he needs some playing time I would be quite happy to see if there is an opportunity in the Championship for him to play minutes and have a strong season.

“But at the moment the way I see him is fighting for his place in the first team.”

McAleny is currently away with the first team on a warm weather training camp in Qatar. Read what Martinez had to say about the trip here.


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