When healthy, Yannick Bolasie is one of Everton’s best wide attackers. Given how bad the wide attacking play has been for Everton this year (largely due to R***** K***** refusing to play actual wide players so that he could indulge his obsession with central attacking midfielders) his return will hopefully bring even more of a relief.
That’s why the following video, posted by Liverpool Echo reporter Phil Kirkbride on Twitter, is the best thing I’ve seen on the internet this morning:
. @YannickBolasie in training this morning with Everton pic.twitter.com/7qmsOvxKMg— Phil Kirkbride (@philkecho) November 22, 2017
According to David Unsworth, Bolasie could be back around Christmas.
“Probably late December, going into the new year. Probably Yannick will be a bit before.”
| Welcome back, @YannickBolasie!— Everton (@Everton) November 22, 2017
A nice round of applause from the squad as Yannick joined in part of today's session. #EFC pic.twitter.com/feG8VCTgRu
It’s been a while so let’s just remember what Yala brings to the table. Before his injury, he was giving Everton 1.8 open play key passes per 90 minutes. The only wide attacker Everton currently have producing key passes at that level is Nikola Vlasic, and he’s done so in far more limited minutes than the sample size we have from Bolasie. (Actually, the minutes sample size we have on all our wide attackers is tiny, see complaint above about team selection.)
Bolasie also completed 55% of his dribble attempts for 3.2 completions per 90. Vlasic and Lookman produce similar numbers, but again, really haven’t been given the chance.
Hopefully, team selection at Everton will improve and we can start to see more of our young wingers out there. It would be great if Bolasie’s return (which according to David Unsworth is probably around Christmas or early January) found a cogent idea of wide attacking play in place instead of the tactical embarrassment we’ve seen too often this year.