Everton will be eyeing the end to the international break with three star players set to return on the other side.
Summer acquisition Andre Gomes is amongst the players Marco Silva is awaiting the return of, with the Portuguese midfielder currently sidelined with a thigh injury. Gomes arrived on Merseyside from Barcelona in the summer on a loan deal but is yet to feature in the colours of his temporary side.
The end to his injury spell will mark the 25-year-old’s return to action having last played club football against Mamelodi Sundowns FC in May while still at his Catalan parent club. Premier Injuries believe he’ll be available for selection when the Premier League returns, on October 21st.
Andre Gomes signed for Barcelona from Valencia in 2016, where the 29-cap Portuguese midfielder had continued to build on his reputation for passing ability having only moved to Spain the previous summer.
His weaknesses, however, came to the fore upon that move and he soon fell out of favour at the Camp Nou, ultimately leading to his loan move to Goodison Park.
It may, then, look as if Everton have drawn the short straw with a duff player now on their hands for a season, but here the midfielder can look to return to the levels he reached at Benfica and Valencia.
One of Everton’s strengths this season has been the side’s attacks down the wings with the likes of Richarlison, Theo Walcott and Bernard. Add a playmaking central midfielder to the ranks to spread the balls to that trio and central attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Everton can further build on their expressive attacking football under Silva.
So far this season Everton have played a mix of top and bottom half teams in the Premier League, but the other side of the international break holds a much tougher test for Silva’s men.
Matches against the top-four hopefuls come thick and fast, after what will be a must win match at home to Crystal Palace.
Out of the Champions League chasers, only Arsenal have so far come up against the Toffees this season. Yet in Everton’s upcoming matches, they travel to Manchester United and Chelsea before a trip across the River Mersey to face Liverpool.
Players returning from injury will certainly add fresh legs to Silva’s midfield amongst the side’s tough run all the way up to Christmas, with Manchester City and Tottenham also in the not too distant future.