Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate and Fabian Delph will all miss the season’s final two games due to injury.
Holgate was withdrawn 15 minutes into Everton’s 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa on Thursday due to a recurrence of the shin issue he sustained at Tottenham last week.
Mina was taken off in the 3-0 defeat at Wolves due to a muscle problem, while Delph has not played since the Premier League resumed, also because of a muscle strain.
And speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s trip to Sheffield United, Ancelotti said none of them will feature either at Bramall Lane or in next Sunday’s finale at home to Bournemouth:
“All three [Holgate, Mina and Delph] are out for the rest of the season. We only have eight days left and they will not be able to recover.
“When players have injuries, we are always disappointed, but we’ve had a lot of games and, honestly, we were lucky in this aspect.”
Despite losing two central defenders in Mina and Holgate, Ancelotti appeared not too downhearted, having been enthused by 18-year-old Jarrad Branthwaite’s impressive home debut against Villa.
Branthwaite replaced the injured Holgate and was one of Everton’s better players for the remaining 75 minutes, and Ancelotti said he trusts him to replicate the same level of performance at Sheffield United:
“[Holgate and Mina] are two important players but we have the opportunity to give experience to a really young player who did well in our last game. We have confidence in him [Branthwaite] and so it can be good for us and for him to play these games.
“Against Aston Villa he did really well considering the fact that he’s really young. He’s showing in his play character, personality and concentration. He can be a really good player; I’m sure of this.”