Everton are set to receive a big injury boost ahead of their Premier League encounter with West Ham United following the international break.
Toffees manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed he’s hopeful that multiple players will be available to return from injury after the current pause in Premier League action.
Although Everton have made a fast start under their new boss, the Spanish tactician was unable to call upon the services of Seamus Coleman, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph, Alex Iwobi, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin for the draw against Manchester United last time out.
And while Benitez hasn’t given any specific information about when his injured stars will be ready to return, he does expect to have a stronger squad for his side’s game against the Hammers at Goodison Park a week on Sunday.
“Hopefully, we can rest some players (during the international break). We can recover some players who are a little bit tired – and then the others, if we have one or two coming back, we will be grateful, because we need legs,” the 61-year-old said (as relayed by the Liverpool ECHO).
“I am really pleased with the players we have at the moment, but if you have two or three players that will come back and help the others, then hopefully, it will be very useful for the team.”
Benitez’s arrival at Everton over the summer was a controversial one given his previous history with local rivals Liverpool, but the Champions League-winning manager is quickly winning over the fanbase.
A healthy total of 14 points from their opening seven top-flight fixtures has left the Toffees in fifth position at this moment in time, sparking genuine hope of a European push.
The fact they’ve managed to achieve that despite having a number of their star players on the treatment table, therefore, is quite incredible. They haven’t missed the goals of Calvert-Lewin who had netted three times in his opening three outings with Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray hitting the ground running so well in Merseyside.
Therefore, if you combine that sort of form with returning players like Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison, the Toffees should become even better in the weeks to come.
Benitez will no doubt be delighted that several of his injured players are nearing a return to full fitness as the visit of West Ham will be a tough test for his threadbare charges.