Two Depart From Goodison Park
Everton FC have confirmed the departures of two members of their squad, with both Bryan Oviedo and Arouna Kone leaving Merseyside to join Midlands side Aston Villa.
Born in Anyama, Koné started his football career with Rio Sport d'Anyama, a club based in his hometown. In the 2002–03 season, aged just 18, he signed for Lierse S.K. in Belgium, being the team's top scorer as it finished fifth. He moved to the Netherlands in the following off-season and joined Roda JC, scoring double digits in two consecutive Eredivisie campaigns including a career-best of 15 goals in 2004–05.
Koné continued in the Netherlands and joined national powerhouse PSV Eindhoven in the 2005 summer, netting 11 goals in his first year and nine in the first part of the following, partnering well up front with Peruvian Jefferson Farfán. He also competed in the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League, scoring a vital winner in the 2–1 away success against Galatasaray SK, and his successful 2006 finished on a high note as he was nominated for the Ivorian Football of the Year award, an accolade eventually won by Didier Drogba; in May of the following year, after several weeks sidelined due to injury, he picked his second consecutive national championship-winners medal.
Koné endured a difficult start to PSV's 2007–08 season: due to a date mix-up, he returned late to pre-season training following a holiday in his country, thus missing out on valuable time to prepare for the new campaign. Added to this, the player was struck down with malaria at the end of July 2007, In August, it was announced that he had returned to training following his health scare, and was expected to be fit in time for the team's first league game against Heracles Almelo on the 19th –he also immediately returned to international duty.
On the 30th of August the year 2007, after reported interest from Premier League side Middlesbrough had been observing Koné, Sevilla FC signed Koné on a five-year deal for a fee reported to be €12 million. He made his league debut on 16 September, as a second-half substitute for Frédéric Kanouté in a 4–1 win against Recreativo de Huelva – he won a penalty in the game, but fellow striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov failed to convert. Nine days later he scored his first goal for the Spaniards, helping the team come from behind 0–2 against RCD Espanyol to tie it 2–2, in an eventual 2–3 home loss; on 2 October, he netted his first UEFA Champions League goal for the club, in a 4–2 group stage win against SK Slavia Prague after only ten minutes on the pitch.
On 14 August 2012, Koné signed a three-year contract with Premier League side Wigan Athletic, for a reported fee of €3.5 million. Wigan beat off competition from a number of other English clubs, with the striker being persuaded to sign due to the team's passing style of play. He scored his first league goal in his second match and his first start, an 89th minute strike against Southampton for the final goal in a 2–0 away win. He netted a brace in the 4–1 defeat of Huddersfield Town in the fifth round of the FA Cup, on 17 February 2013, and added another two in his side's next match, a 3–0 league win at Reading.
On 8 July 2013, Everton confirmed the signing of Koné on a three-year deal, for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut on 17 August, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute in a 2–2 draw at Norwich City. In October, he suffered a knee cartilage injury and did not play again for the rest of the season. Returning on the 24th of December 2014, he netted his first goal for Everton against Newcastle United in the early stages of a 3-2 defeat. On the opening day of the 2015/16 Premier League season, Arouna came off the bench to assist and score to help Everton secure a 2-2 draw against Watford FC. His performance was rewarded with a start away at Southampton, which was a 3-0 win in which the Ivorian recorded a superb assist. In the words of the man himself, "Today has been good. Lived to my expectation."
Bryan Oviedo leaves Merseyside to join Premier League rivals Aston Villa.
After his outstanding performance in 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt, he had the opportunity to play in the first team, playing some games before leaving for Europe. In early 2010 he began his European adventure, Copenhagen buying his services until 2013. In his first months, he was loaned to FC Nordsjælland and had more participation, even managed to win the 2010–11 Danish Cup. Bryan returned again to the Danish capital for the 2011–2012 season, and made his first official team appearance on 5 May 2010, when Copenhagen finally secured the Danish championship with a 4–0 victory against HB Køge. In the first half of the 2011–2012 season, he managed to break into the starting lineup, benching Pierre Bengtsson.
On 31 August 2012, Oviedo signed for English Premier League side Everton for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut as an 85th minute substitute during a 3–0 away league win over Swansea City in September. Oviedo was very much a squad player during his first season with Everton as he made 15 league appearances, 14 of those as a substitute. In 2012, in a starting 11 against Norwich City, Oviedo picked up his first assist for the club. He scored his first goal for Everton on 30 November 2013 in a 4–0 win over Stoke City, also picking up an assist. Four days later he scored against Manchester United in the 86th minute in a 1–0 win, leading Everton to their first win at Old Trafford in 21 years.
On 25 January 2014, Oviedo suffered a broken left leg 18 minutes into the Stevenage vs Everton FA Cup Fourth Round tie. He sustained the injury from a tackle on Stevenage midfielder Simon Heslop, a clean break to both his tibia and fibula. Immediately after the game, speaking to BT Sport, Everton manager Roberto Martínez said "A real negative today is the unfortunate incident and we need to give Bryan as much support as we can now. He's had a terrific season and I've been very impressed with him. He's an important player in the group and he deserves a speedy recovery.
The injury to Bryan affected everyone. Those type of injuries leave a sick taste." Everton later confirmed that Oviedo would require surgery to heal a double fracture of his left leg. In May 2014, Oviedo said he was unable to recover from his injury in time to be ready for the 2014 World Cup with his national team. Oviedo returned from injury on 23 September in Everton's 3–0 defeat at Swansea City in the second round of the League Cup; he started the match before being replaced after 58 minutes by James McCarthy.