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Everton International Break Round-Up | Pickford, Under-21s star

How did Everton’s international players get on in the break?

Spain v England - UEFA Nations League A Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Avoiding injuries is always a top priority when the international break arrives and Everton have managed to have pick up just one ahead of the weekend’s visit of Crystal Palace – although it’s not a name many Blues want to see missing from the teamsheet…

Otherwise it was a positive break for the Everton contingent, with plenty of goals and impressive performances put in.

Richarlison - Brazil

Came off the bench with half an hour to play to help Brazil to a last-minute 1-0 friendly win over arch-rivals Argentina. The 21-year-old picked up his fourth cap and looked dangerous as he lined up on the right side of a 4-3-3 formation. The Everton forward had also logged a few minutes as a late sub in the 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia.

Jordan Pickford - England

After picking up a clean sheet in a dour 0-0 draw in an empty stadium against Croatia, all eyes were on Jordan Pickford as he helped England to a famous win in Spain.

He launched two scintillating England attacks as the Three Lions went 3-0 up against Spain at half-time. England held on for a 3-2 win, although Pickford came under the spotlight after a precarious Cruyff-turn in his own six-yard-box was almost punished.

Asked whether a penalty should have been awarded for the incident, Pickford quipped, -

“I had that never say die attitude and there might have been a little nudge. But if you look back I got an elbow right in my dish and I got a good clearance.”

Idrissa Gana Gueye – Senegal

The holding midfielder scored a rare goal in Senegal’s 3-0 win over Sudan. But then, in true Everton fashion, got injured – hobbling off just before half-time leaving him as a doubt for the Blues’ weekend clash with Crystal Palace.

The Lions of Teranga won the return leg too and have qualified for the continental showcase early in 2019.

Henry Onyekuru - Nigeria

The forward made two substitute appearances as Nigeria virtually sealed a spot in January’s Africa Cup of Nations with two wins over Libya.

Antonee Robinson - USA

Robinson unfortunately got the run-around once again while playing for the United States, with his side well-beaten 4-2 by Colombia. He picked up a yellow card and was hooked after 75 minutes in Florida.

There’s no doubt that the on-loan Wigan Athletic full-back has a lot of promise (especially going forward – as he showed with a great cross for the USMNT’s first goal) but his defensive game needs a lot of work – especially when it comes to positioning and awareness.

Robinson made a late appearance as a substitute in the 1-1 draw against Peru.

Cenk Tosun - Turkey

Tosun came on as a second half substitute in the 0-0 draw against Muhamed Besic’s Bosnia & Herzegovina, and could only pick up a yellow card as Turkey fell to a 2-0 defeat in Russia.

Gylfi Sigurdsson - Iceland

Only two late goals prevented Sigurdsson’s Iceland from claiming a famous win over France in last week’s friendly. However his side could do nothing to falling to another Nations League defeat, although by a smaller 2-1 margin at home to Switzerland, and subsequent relegation from Tier 1.

Under 21s

There were plenty of Blues in action for England’s under 21s this week – and plenty of goals for them too!

Ademola Lookman scored and put in a man-of-the-match performance in England’s 7-0 thumping of Andorra – with Dominic Calvert-Lewin also bagging a brace. Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny also started the game and set up Lookman’s opener.

Then, on Tuesday night, Kieran Dowell scored a stunning Sigurdsson-esque goal in their 2-0 win over Scotland – with Calvert-Lewin coming off the bench for the Young Lions.

Elsewhere, Shane Lavery and Nathan Broadhead started for Ireland U-21s and Wales U-21 respectively, while Fraser Hornby missed out for Scotland’s youth side after undergoing surgery for an ankle issue.