On Tuesday evening, a sizeable contingent of Everton players departed for their first preseason match, to be held on Thursday in Tanzania. The Blues will face Kenyan club Gor Mahia at 3PM UK time on July 13.
Notable inclusions in the squad named by Ronald Koeman include new boys Davy Klaassen and Michael Keane. Wayne Rooney is also on the plane, and expected to make his “debut” for the club in some capacity.
Everton’s U20 World Cup participants made the trip as well, including Ademola Lookman, Jonjoe Kenny, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Interestingly, Yannick Bolasie is also traveling. It is extremely unlikely he’s ready to play, or even train, but given the Congo’s proximity to Tanzania, his inclusion should be well received by the fans.
Among those left at home, Ross Barkley and Joel Robles stick out. No explanation is given for Robles, but Everton say Barkley is struggling with a groin injury. That knock had been previously unreported - is this the beginning of the end at the club for both players?
Ramiro Funes Mori also remains behind to continue rehab work on his knee injury.
It is expected the Blues will debut their new away kit on Thursday.
Maarten Stekelenburg, Mateusz Hewelt, Chris Renshaw, Tom Davies, Phil Jagielka, Ashley Williams, Callum Connolly, Jonjoe Kenny, Michael Keane, Muhamed Besic, Leighton Baines, Morgan Schneiderlin, James McCarthy, Davy Klaassen, Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gana Gueye, Joe Williams, Kieran Dowell, Kevin Mirallas, Wayne Rooney, Aaron Lennon, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ademola Lookman, Matthew Pennington, Yannick Bolasie.