Everton: £5.2 million outcast could be in contention to start against Chelsea amid injury crisis

Everton (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

Everton are going through one of their worst phases on the pitch and the injury crisis has further deteriorated the state of the side. Injury to key players and regular starters has left Rafa Benitez with no choice but to utilize fringe players. Jonjoe Kenny could be in line to start the game against Chelsea.

Seamus Coleman suffered soft tissue damage and bone bruising against Crystal Palace. He could miss the game against Chelsea and if the Irishman remains unavailable, Kenny could get his first Premier League start of the season.

Yerry Mina is recovering from a calf injury which leaves the Toffees with Michael Keane, Mason Holgate, Ben Godfrey and Jarrad Branthwaite as centre back options. Branthwaite is unlikely to feature and should be shipped out on loan in January. In the last two games, Godfrey has slotted into the left back role as Rafa Benitez has excluded the only left back of the squad from the match day squads.

Lucas Digne had an argument with the Spanish boss and the relationship has eroded. Ahead of the Chelsea game, Benitez was questioned over Digne’s inclusion to which the former Napoli boss replied that the 28 year old was on course to play against Chelsea but the Frenchman has fallen ill.

Jonjoe Kenny could start for Everton

"I cannot agree more [on his reintegration in the squad]. He’s a good player. He was an important player for us. Yesterday, we had a training session and he was in the 11 starters and today he said, he is ill and is not available for tomorrow. (via club’s official YouTube channel)"

With Digne missing the Chelsea clash, Godfrey will again play at left back, Keane and Holgate forming the central defensive partnership. If Coleman isn’t cleared by the medical team, Kenny could be in line to start.

The Everton academy product has seen playing time hard to come by since his return to Merseyside after a successful loan spell at Schalke 04. The 24 year old has played just 533 minutes of football for Everton in the last two seasons. With his deal running out at the end of this season, Kenny is likely spending his final few months at his boyhood club.

A new deal seems to be out of the question at the moment as Everton continue to search for a long term successor to Coleman. With the January transfer window on the cards, the Toffees may try to cash in on the Englishman. These opportunities could be Kenny’s last dance in an Everton shirt and the chances of him playing seem high.

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Will Jonjoe Kenny feature against Chelsea?