UPDATE: Oct 31st, 2016 5:00pm BST
Ronald Koeman confirmed that Maarten Stekelenburg should be fit for Chelsea next weekend. He was speaking during the post-match press conference after Everton beat West Ham yesterday.
“Yesterday, Maarten had a swollen foot. He was close to playing today. He had a test this morning but he did not have that confidence [in the foot] that you need to start and that was the reason he didn’t start today. But he will be fit for next week.”
“We have total confidence in Joel. He had a difficult time in the beginning after the decision that we made [to keep Stekelenburg as first choice] but in the last few months he’s been doing well, he’s been waiting for his chance and he’s showed today that he can be the number one if we need him, no problem.”
Everton starting goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg missed out today’s game against West Ham United after failing a late fitness test. Manager Ronald Koeman confirmed before the lineups were released that the Dutchman had picked up a foot injury in training and wasn’t fit to be even on the bench.
RK: “Maarten Stekelenburg has a foot injury. We did a fitness test this morning but he wasn’t 100 per cent to start." #EFCmatchday— Everton (@Everton) October 30, 2016
As a result, Joel Robles made his first competitive appearance for Everton today this season. Robles had replaced the aging Tim Howard as the Toffees starter midway through last season, but found himself on the outside this year after Koeman brought in Stekelenburg.
Under-23 goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt made the jump to the senior squad as backup for Robles while Stekelenburg missed the game.
Joel did feature in the Premier League 2 for the Under-23s in one game in mid-September, a 1-0 loss at home to Sunderland’s U-23 side. He was overall decent last season in an Everton team that struggled defensively throughout the year.
Robles ended up with 8 clean sheets in 25 games in all competitions, conceding 32 goals in total.