When preseason games are afoot, it’s every fan’s hope that injuries will be avoided during meaningless matches. Indeed, Everton escaped Tanzania injury-free...or so we thought. This time, the knock was suffered by a player who didn’t even get on the plane to Africa.
Paul Joyce of The Times reports that the Blues’ Argentinian defender Ramiro Funes Mori has had a setback in his recovery from an injury sustained in March while on international duty.
Everton's Ramiro Funes Mori facing lengthy absence with knee injury - could see Koeman move for left sided defender.— paul joyce (@_pauljoyce) July 13, 2017
It’s particularly bad news, as Funes Mori was set to play a big role in the upcoming season, given Everton’s sparse depth in the defending ranks. The 26 year old can play in the center or on the left of a defense, and it’s likely he was going to be both the cover for Leighton Baines and Michael Keane or Ashley Williams.
The contributions of Matthew Pennington and Phil Jagielka are unknown quantities. Furthermore, neither of them can get spot starts at left back.
Everton have tested the waters for a player akin to Funes Mori earlier in this transfer window with the likes of Jairo Riedewald and Florentin Pogba. If Funes Mori is out any longer than a few weeks (or even if he’s not), Steve Walsh and Ronald Koeman are going to need to make some calls.
Get well soon, Ramiro.