Everton skipper Phil Neville will miss the crucial Christmas period as boss David Moyes confirms the midfielder has undergone knee surgery.

Neville has been an important player for the Toffee’s this season, protecting the back four and allowing the likes of Leon Osman and Marouane Fellaini to maraud forward to get on the back pages.

Moyes claimed that the experience and leadership of the former Manchester United midfielder was severely lacking from his side yesterday as they went down 2-1 away at newly promoted Reading.

“He (Neville) had an operation on his knee yesterday that could keep him out for six to eight weeks,” Moyes told the Daily Mirror.

“His leadership was missed but we were missing quite a lot of senior players today and you could see that by our bench.

“Thomas Hitzlsperger did OK, not too bad.”

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