Several Premier League summer signings wasted no time in demonstrating what fantastic talent they possess, but one who struggled to justify the pre-season millions their club spent on their services was Everton’s Muhamed Besic.
The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Diafra Sakho have all made a mockery of the notion that the English top-tier takes some getting used to for foreign imports.
One-man Bosnian battalion Besic, however, could only enviously observe as he tentatively tested top-flight waters.
But in the Blues’ 3-1 bashing of QPR, the Berlin-born anchorman was as instrumental as man-of-the-match winner Ross Barkley.
Shielding the back four in the absence of veteran screen Gareth Barry, Besic rarely missed a tackle, while his distribution enabled Everton to pass through QPR’s ram-packed midfield quickly.
No fellow Toffee was on the ball as frequently as the 22-year-old, who had the orb in his possession 81 times in total, while Barkley’s 86.4 per cent is the only passing accuracy that bests his 85 per cent of the Merseysiders’ midfielders.
In a defensive capacity, no player on the pitch out-tackled the Hamburg academy alumni either, who regained possession on seven occasions to supplement his team-high two interceptions.
Barkley and Kevin Mirallas were the only protagonists on the pitch to make more successful dribbles than Besic too.
Dynamic showings such as this is what coerced Roberto Martinez into spending £4m on his services and, should he replicate it from henceforth, he’ll represent something of a bargain.
Having conceded 14 goals at Goodison Park, no top-tier defence is as leaky as Everton’s at home, but fortification brought about by Besic’s emergence is likely to spell the end of this fragility.
The Toffee’s arsenal of attacking talent will ensure goals continue to go in, meaning punters should expect them to embark upon a skywards-surge into the Premier League’s upper echelons.
They’re a great value 9/4 to finish in the top six at present.