Everton have received a potentially significant injury boost ahead of their Premier League clash with Brentford this afternoon.
Rafael Benitez revealed in Friday’s press conference that key midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure could make his long-awaited return from a metatarsal issue, having missed the Toffees’ last four top-flight fixtures.
“He’s been training today, so it’s one play that may be available,” the Spaniard confirmed. “Because it’s a metatarsal issue, if he’s fine then he’s fine.
“We have to make sure he goes to the game if everything is healed and the player is confident. It’s always a risk coming back from injury, but not a massive risk.”
Benitez was then quizzed over the availability of another engine room operator Jean-Philippe Gbamin, who has only featured in one minute of action since he was hauled off at half-time against Wolves at the start of the month.
“It’s complicated. After two years, to play against Wolves was not easy. After we had to make a decision against Spurs, I put (Mason) Holgate in – we have to be honest, it didn’t work. Sometimes it’s like that.”
News that Dourcure could return to either the starting line-up or the matchday squad for the trip to the Brentford Community Stadium will leave Benitez absolutely buzzing.
The Frenchman is a crucial cog in the Blues’ engine room and was in fine form before he picked up his injury, scoring two goals and providing a further four assists in just eight Premier League appearances.
Since Doucoure’s fitness setback, Everton have only picked up one point from a possible 12, dropping to 12th in the top-flight table and highlighting his importance to the side.
Therefore, the 6-foot beast’s potential return could provide a big boost to Benitez’s charges this afternoon as they attempt to end a six-game winless run.