Everton manager Rafa Benitez will be desperately searching for a solution to his midfielder conundrum ahead of a daunting run of fixtures.
The Toffees have lost their last three consecutive games, largely due to the absence of injured engine room operator Abdoulaye Doucoure, and things could go from bad to worse for the Goodison Park outfit.
Between now and 19 December, Benitez’s charges are set to face Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester City, a run that could realistically make or break the Spaniard’s short reign.
However, he may have already stumbled across the solution to his midfield woes. While Tom Davies featured in the 5-2 mauling against Watford, Jean-Philippe Gbamin was handed his first start of the campaign last time out at Wolves.
Neither player covered themselves in glory as teammate Allan was left hopelessly exposed on both occasions, often looking like a one-man band in the middle of the park.
But then, hope arose from an unlikely source in the second period at Molineux. Fabian Delph came off the bench to make his first appearance since 21 August following a shoulder injury to transform Everton’s performance.
The 31-year-old was unable to salvage a positive result for the Toffees, but he did bring tenacity and endeavour to his side’s play that had been so desperately lacking before his introduction.
“When they came out in the second half, the biggest change – or rather, the biggest lacking in the first half – was just graft and effort,” said Vitty.
“I know that they were light in midfield and Gbamin clearly isn’t fit; I mean, there was a massive hole there. Allan was running around trying to do everything and Wolves were just taking advantage of it.
“But I never thought I’d be so in awe of Delph’s arrival. I mean, it just made a huge difference but suddenly, there was some graft or some effort and they looked a lot better, but it was too little, too late.”
With Benitez fast running out of options to solve the issues that Doucoure’s enforced absence has so emphatically thrown up, Delph’s display against Wolves couldn’t have come soon enough.
Now the 61-year-old must unleash the £80,000-per-week beast from the off against Spurs, and get the Blues back on an upward trajectory.