New signing jets to Blues training camp
New signing Aiden McGeady has been labelled as “a defender’s worst nightmare” by a player who has faced him.
Former Everton left-back Michael Ball played against McGeady in the Scottish Premier League with Rangers and was immediately struck by his skill with the ball.
McGeady, who shot to prominence with Celtic, has been backed to be an instant hit at Goodison Park by Ball following his arrival on Saturday on a four-and-a-half year deal from Spartak Moscow.
Ball believes the Everton fans will fall in love with the 27-year-old because of his entertaining and attacking style.
“He is a great signing for Everton,” said Ball.
“He is so skilful and the fans are going to be made up with him. They will pay to come and watch him.
“The type of tricks he performs makes him the type of player we’ve not had for a while. It is going to be interesting to see where he plays in the side.
“Steven Pienaar and Kevin Mirallas can play on the left so maybe he will be on the right and link up with Seamus Coleman. He is more of a left-sided player but he is both-footed. He has the ability to cut in from either side and shoot as well as put crosses in. So McGeady will create opportunities for Everton’s strikers.
“It is great that he has come here and, hopefully, can now show the Premier League what he is made of. Hopefully the Blues get the best out of him.”
Ball faced Everton’s new signing in an Old Firm clash in November 2004 when McGeady was an emerging talent north of the border.
The former full-back, who made 139 appearances for the Blues between 1996 and 2001, says he was thankful that the then Celtic player took up a position on the opposite side of the field to him.
“When he came on that day I’m thinking to myself ‘stay away from my side’,” said Ball with a laugh. “And it was very much a case of ‘here we go’. He came on and floated between the left hand side and middle.
“He is a defender’s worst nightmare. His feet are so quick and the crowd at Everton are going to love him.”
Ball added: “Aiden was the bright new star coming through in Scottish football when I was there. He was playing well in the SPL but also in the Champions League and his performances stood out there as well.
“You could tell he was naturally gifted and so it was just a matter of time to see if he was going to carry that on because of a lot of lads fade.”
McGeady was paraded to the fans before Saturday’s game at home to Norwich City and 24 hours later jetted off with the squad for a warm weather training camp in Tenerife.
Ball says the four day break has come at an ideal time for the new recruit.
“It is perfect that the lads have all gone away together for warm weather training,” Ball said.
“Aiden has international team-mates already at the club, but being away on a camp with the rest of the lads is the best way to get to know them.
“New players tend to stick with the lads they already know when signing for a club. But Everton being in Tenerife means he can branch out because he will be around the players all day and you have meals with them.
“When I signed for PSV, I was cup-tied for the Champions League, but I still went away with them. It was the same when I signed for Man City in the January, the team went to Dubai for warm weather training. In the four days he’s spent with the lads in Tenerife, Aiden will feel like he’s been at the club for ages.”