If you were hoping that Saturday’s match would be the end to Everton’s injury and suspension crisis, I’ve got bad news for you.
Prior to kickoff of today’s Carabao Cup match against Rotherham, the club announced an addition four injuries, with another already injured player facing a longer setback as well.
The biggest news is the injury to Idrissa Gana Gueye. The Senegalese midfielder suffering a knee strain on Saturday against Bournemouth, taking him out of contention for today’s match.
Ademola Lookman and Bernard both missed out today through injury as well — Lookman via a groin injury and Bernard via a “muscle strain.”
Phil Jagielka, set to return from suspension on Saturday, suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for approximately three weeks.
Finally, midfielder Andre Gomes suffered a setback related to his existing hamstring injury, which is expected to prolong his absence for another three weeks.
These injuries, depending on their length, could leave Everton with real trouble heading into the Huddersfield match on Saturday.
With Morgan Schneiderlin only just returning from injury, Beni Baningime still on crutches, James McCarthy still recovering from a leg break, and Mohamed Besic on loan, Gana’s injury makes the Toffees dangerously thin in the center of midfield — especially given the prolonging of Gomes’ injury.
Against Rotherham, Silva’s solution will be to utilize Kieran Dowell, Gylfi Sigurdsson, and Tom Davies, but that surely cannot be a long-term solution. Best start praying that Gana can return for Saturday’s match.
Lookman’s injury is a bit fishy, with the player potentially on his way out the door to RB Leipzig. But his absence — for whatever reason — combined with Bernard’s injury, puts Everton in a bind in the wide areas as well. Richarlison misses three matches through suspension, making Theo Walcott the only fit, available winger for now.
Jagielka’s injury wouldn’t be a big deal given his precipitous drop down the depth chart — except that Michael Keane and Yerry Mina remain out for the foreseeable future as well. I don’t suspect that he’d supplant either Mason Holgate or Kurt Zouma in the starters’ roles, but having zero senior-team center-back cover is less than ideal!
There is a glimmer of hope for the Toffees in all this. After Saturday’s match home against Huddersfield, we enter a FIFA international break, during which time these players can all continue their recovery. If just a few could be eligible by the time the Toffees play West Ham United on September 16, it would be a huge relief.