Arouna Kone says he is looking forward to getting his Everton career back on track ahead of his expected return to the side on Thursday against Krasnodar.
The striker followed boss Roberto Martinez from Wigan to Goodison Park in the summer of 2013 but only managed a handful of appearance last season before being struck down with a serious knee injury.
After recently returning to training, he is now deemed fit enough for first-team action and is expected to play some part in Thursday’s clash, which the Toffees are currently 1.84 to win, the draw 3.60 and their Russian opponents 3.59.
Despite some inconsistent performances in the Premier League, Martinez’s men are already through to the knockout stages of the Europa League by virtue of topping Group H and are now 16.00 to win the tournament outright.
Kone admits he cannot wait to get back on the field and is hoping a strong performance will help persuade the boss that he is worthy of more action in the coming weeks.
“It’s going to be absolutely fantastic, I’m really excited about it,” he told a press conference. “It’s been such a long wait and it’s almost like making my debut, the very first match of my career. It’s going to be a special night.
“I’ve been really motivated to try to get back with the first team and Thursday’s going to present that opportunity. It’s a special occasion for the club as well.
“We want to give a great performance for the fans, both myself and the team, in order to celebrate the qualification.”