While scans on Ross Barkley's injured knee are not yet back, Everton head coach Roberto Martinez is already preparing fans for possible bad news. Martinez was asked about Barkley following the Toffees' opening day draw against Leicester City, and the Blues' boss said the star midfielder could be out as much as five months.
Roberto Martinez fears Ross Barkley could be out 'for a long, long time'. Scans not back but says 'anything from seven weeks to 4/5 months'— Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) August 16, 2014
It's important to stress that this remains speculation from Martinez based on what the medical staff has told him, but it certainly doesn't make us feel any better. Losing Barkley is a major blow to the Everton midfield, especially if he's forced out until after the new year
Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith looked good in the first half today against Leicester, but neither is true replacement for Barkley in the middle of the Everton attack. The biggest issue though is depth, especially with the Europa League getting started in September. The added number of games will force Martinez to use less rotation, potentially putting excess wear and tear of players.
It's always possible he could try to find another midfielder before the transfer window closes as well. We shall see. For the moment though, there's nothing to do but wait until official word comes back from the scans on Barkley's knee.