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Brazilian full-back features for Everton U21s

Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Former AC Milan defender Felipe Mattioni featured for the Under-21 side against Norwich on Tuesday, with the club saying the full-back is currently "working with the team".

The 26-year-old, who began his career with Gremio, is a free agent after being released by Espanyol over the summer. Mattioni made just 16 appearances for the club in five years due to injury.

Mattioni suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury in his left knee in 2010 just months after signing for the club, missing the rest of the season. Then on his return he suffered the same injury in his right knee, ruling him out for nearly two years.

Prior to his injury-hit time at Espanyol Mattioni spent a season on-loan at Mallorca and a brief loan spell at AC Milan, making just one appearance before injury ruined any chance of the Italian side turning his loan into a permanent move.

Mattioni played 85 minutes for the Under-21s at Southport's Merseyrail Community Stadium, conceding a penalty that allowed Norwich to take the lead but also winning a penalty at the other end that allowed Everton to equalise.

Everton's first-choice right-back is of course Seamus Coleman with youngster Tyias Browning proving an able deputy for the last two matches while the Ireland international has been recovering from a hamstring injury.

Veteran Tony Hibbert is out until at least November with a knee injury of his own, while Matthew Pennington made his senior debut at right-back at Barnsley in the League Cup last month.

Therefore a deal for Mattioni would surely see him act as cover, with any contract also likely to be short-term given his injury problems over recent seasons.

However, as we have seen with Arouna Kone's return to form, players can now recover from serious knee injuries that perhaps would have ended careers a few years ago.

Everton were keen to stress that Mattioni's involvement with the side was not a 'trial' even if it seems like it in practice. But as a free agent Mattioni can be signed outside of the transfer window and would also represent minimal financial risk - if he impresses enough in training.