As we begin the countdown towards the return of the Premier League, Everton are facing an injury crisis as the Blues prepare for their first game back, the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
This is not exactly the sort of news that Everton fans would want to hear as the Toffees face the runaway league leaders next weekend.
Injuries seem to be a constant problem at Everton, it always seems that the club are dealing with injury issues with one or more players.
Now on top of the latest setback to Jean-Philippe Gbamin’s Blues career, Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and now Theo Walcott are either a doubt or are already, out for the game. That’s basically half a team now no longer available for Carlo Ancelotti.
We could hardly have a worse run-up to such a big game then. I don’t know what kind of side that Ancelotti will pick for the derby game.
The absence of Mina and Gomes seem to me to be the biggest problems. Mina has probably been Everton’s best defender this season and if he is absent, then that means Micheal Keane, who has struggled recently, will likely start alongside Mason Holgate.
The midfield is the part of the team that has been the most difficult and challenging area to resolve. Both previous manager Marco Silva and Ancelotti have wrestled with this problem without much success.
One position that has proved especially difficult, is the right side of midfield. Successive Toffees managers have tried a number of different players in that position.
More from Prince Rupert's Tower
- Everton could land French defender Malang Sarr on a free transfer
- Everton v Southampton: can Blues tarnish Saints halo
- Everton vs Southampton: Saints discuss Danny Ings, Everton threat and much more
- Everton receive huge transfer boost as Barcelona open to selling speedster
- Gylfi Sigurdsson’s days are numbered as Everton could intensify interest in Uruguayan midfielder
Walcott was the one most often deployed on the right, this season at least. He’s not proved a success to put it mildly.
But with the ex-Arsenal man unavailable, and the midfield decimated by injury, who is going to start against the kopites? Is it going to be Sidibe playing there as he did in Ancelotti’s first game in charge, or will the Italian try Alex Iwobi on that side? We will see.
This brings me onto a transfer story that has rumbled on for a few weeks, the rumour that Everton are seriously interested in the Turkish player Cengiz Under.
Reports today again claim that Under is being tracked by the Blues. The online media outlet SportWitness say the Toffees are still very interested in him.