Yerry Mina says he counts himself extremely lucky to be learning from a “great coach” in Marco Silva.
Colombian Mina could fairly claim to be among the Premier League’s most dependable centre-halves following his encouraging start to this campaign.
He returned from the summer’s Copa America to help Everton open their season by shutting out both Crystal Palace and Watford.
The 24-year-old nonetheless admits his side will have no margin for error when they face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday, with Everton aiming to summon a compelling response following their defeat at Aston Villa last time out in the league.
As for his own form, Mina insists it is the product of daily instruction from Blues manager Silva.
“I call him Professor Marco… he is very good for everybody here,” said Mina, who sat out the midweek Carabao Cup victory over Lincoln City.
“He is a really great coach and gives everybody a sense of confidence.
“He is very open to communication, you can talk freely with him, which is a very positive thing.
“I have had the good fortune to learn a lot from him in a short space of time.
“Every day we are working on many different aspects of our play and it is all going very positively.
“As defenders, we are working together and getting to know each other well – on and off the field.
“That creates a family feeling. I am lucky to have such good teammates.
“The coach helps us all a lot and we always try to follow his instructions.”
Mina joined Everton off the back of a tremendous World Cup finals with his country in 2018.
The defender conceded only once in the three games he played in Russia. His record at this year’s South American tournament was even better, Colombia not letting in a goal in any of Mina’s three matches but losing on penalties to Chile in the quarter finals.
Mina was equally resolute at the outset of his Everton career.
The Blues shut out Chelsea and Cardiff City on his first two starts, only for that early promise to be checked by a succession of niggling injuries.
Mina ultimately started 10 Premier League matches in his first Everton campaign after joining from Barcelona.
“That was a great motivation for me this season,” said Mina.
“I started with the best intentions [after signing] but it didn’t turn out too well because of injuries.
“But they are behind me now and I am fully recovered.
“I am working very hard every day to do the best I can for the Club.”
Mina didn’t feature in either encounter with Wolves last term but has seen enough of Nuno Espirito Santo’s impressive team to know he’s in for a test this weekend.
Wolves have drawn all three Premier League games this season, while in the Europa League Nuno’s side defeated Serie A team Torino over two legs to reach the competition’s group stage.
“We will approach the game with a great deal of focus,” added Mina.
“It is always our intention to cause the other team problems and win our one v ones.
“It is a rapid game when you play Wolves. They are a very intelligent team.
“It is important to keep our focus and maintain control throughout.”