Everton host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, and Frank Lampard will be hoping that his team can pick up all three points after three consecutive defeats, ahead of an impending return for one Toffees player.
The Everton boss took to his pre-match press conference to deliver an exciting injury update on Nathan Patterson, with the right-back missing from the squad since the international break last month.
Although Saturday’s clash will come too soon for the defender to return, it should not be much longer before he is again striding the Goodison Park turf.
Lampard told the media about the Scottish youngster: “He’s progressing, he’s training with us and will be fit, hopefully, for next week.”
The talented 21-year-old’s imminent return to action could be season-changing for Lampard when you look at how much the Toffees have dropped off since the right-back has been out recovering from the ankle injury sustained whilst on international duty with Scotland last month.
Everton were on a five-game unbeaten run ahead of Patterson’s injury, with the Scottish gem playing 90 minutes in each. However, without him to call upon in their last four fixtures, they have won just once and lost three on the bounce in the Premier League.
Across seven appearances this season, Patterson has made 1.3 interceptions, four tackles and 2.7 clearances per game, creating one big chance and winning 63% of his duels. He is currently the fourth highest-rated player in the entire squad as per SofaScore, proving to be a solid presence in the Everton team.
As a result, there is no doubt that the return of the right-back will be a huge boost for the Toffees and will delight Lampard, who has made no secret of his admiration for the youngster.
The Everton boss has gushed about Patterson’s contributions in recent weeks, saying: “What a start to the season – he was injured when he was about to make his debut last year, so it has been hard.
“But he has shown character. People say he’s a really good offensive full-back, but his defensive game has been excellent.”
Although the Crystal Palace clash will come too soon for him, Patterson’s return ahead of the World Cup would be great for the Toffees, as they face a number of closely-congested fixtures over the next three weeks.