News out of Finch Farm today is that midfielder Ross Barkley has suffered some sort of injury that could keep him out of the squad for up to 6 weeks. There are currently no details on the type of injury, but it is a big blow to an Everton side that is already facing an increased fixture load from European competition.
If Barkley is out for a full 6 weeks, his first game back could be the first leg of the Merseyside Derby. Depending on fitness he might come back a week later against Manchester United. While out he will also miss fixtures against Arsenal and Chelsea, not exactly the greatest thing Everton fans want to hear.
For this weekend, Roberto Martinez might have a bit of a selection problem. The normal plan would probably be to insert Steven Naismith into the starting lineup, but with Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas possibly out due to fitness this weekend could see a very ad hoc lineup. And that might mean Leon Osman as our attacking midfielder, maybe even one of the young kids.
Barkley's injury also shows the importance of bringing in another player or two before the deadline. Even though replacing his talent with a backup is all but impossible, Everton still needs backups that can perform at a higher level.