While Everton have managed to go through an impressive number of players under the three managers that have taken charge this season, youngsters Ademola Lookman and Nikola Vlasic can certainly feel hard done by looking at how little they have played despite making significant contributions.
Lookman has seen half an hour of Premier League action since Sam Allardyce took over, while Vlasic’s start against Manchester United was his only Premier League start under the new manager.
There have been rumours that Lookman was dissatisfied and could ask for a transfer if not in the January transfer window then in summer, especially if he continues to be used in a bit-part role.
Speaking to evertontv ahead of today’s game at Tottenham Hotspur, Allardyce looked to reassure the youngsters when he was asked if Lookman could be an attacking asset.
“Yes, he can. And Nikola Vlasic is the same.
“But they are young and we already have a number of Under-23s playing in the team. I do not think anybody has more [young players in the side] than we do.
“Is that what Everton Football Club wants at the moment: playing five, six or seven young players [together], which leaves you more open to not getting the result because of a lack of experience in the side?
“We have had a terrific run with young players in the team and they have gained a vast amount of experience.
“Young Lookman and Vlasic are players for the future. And we would not dismiss [the idea of] them coming off the bench and making an impression, [and having chances] to gain more time and put more thought in my mind about playing them from the start.”
There was certainly some good news for fullback Luke Garbutt who might be brought back into the Premier League squad.
“We have competition for places in most positions. But not in the full-back positions at the minute – because Seamus Coleman is only just coming back and Leighton Baines is still injured.
“I think we are going to bring Luke Garbutt back in to the squad, because he has been out of the 25-man squad.
“We are going to look at him in January to see if he is worth a place in the 25 to go through to the end of the season.
“We have an opportunity to rotate the squad members in January, so it is a good idea for us to look at them training with the first-team squad on a regular basis and see if they are good enough to be brought in to the squad until the end of the season.”
So far there are spots available after the exits of Ross Barkley, Kevin Mirallas and Gethin Jones with only Cenk Tosun added so far. If the Blues don’t find a left back that suits them then Garbutt could be given one of the 25 places in the team list to be submitted to the Premier League immediately after the January transfer window closes.