Everton’s hellish 2021/22 season shows no signs of abating any time soon. Youngster Nathan Patterson who joined the club during the January transfer window and is yet to play a league game for the Blues is now likely going to be out for the remainder of the season.
The Scottish international was slated to make his Premier League debut in the loss at West Ham on Sunday but rolled his ankle in training, and during his pre-game press conference today manager Frank Lampard revealed that the fullback would undergo a minor operation this week and has put his recovery time at about 8-10 weeks, which possibly rules him out for this campaign.
“He’s been down to see a specialist on his ankle and we’re looking at having a small operation later this week. He’s frustrated. It’s slightly easier when you’re an older man and can tell him that he’s young and has got so much time.
“The timing of this will probably mean he’ll have the summer to really get over it and be fighting fit for the start of next season. It’s really unfortunate for him but we just have to accept it. He’ll get all the right support and he’ll be back.
“The diagnosis we have is that it’s looking like an eight to 10 week injury.”
It doesn’t end there though. On-loan midfielder Donny van de Beek picked up a knock in pre-match warmups over the weekend, and he is also out for tomorrow’s crucial clash at fellow relegation contenders Burnley, and since he won’t be able to play against the Red Devils, we’ll only see him next against the Foxes on the 20th.
There was some positive news for the Blues though, and in a crucial position too. Midfielder Fabian Delph is back in training, and will likely get thrown right into the mix at Turf Moor tomorrow with Allan still suspended and Mason Holgate back in defence to cover for Michael Keane who was sent off against the Hammers.
“Fabian Delph is back in the squad, which is good news for us. He’s been working hard to get back in there.
“It’s a position where, obviously, we haven’t got a lot of players in the squad - that natural defensive midfield position. He’s played in there throughout his career and even as a left-back a lot at Manchester City, so he has those attributes and thought processes in terms of playing which we haven’t got much of.
“Trying to keep him fit in this period is crucial for us and everything I’ve seen from him here shows he’s desperate to get back and desperate to help. I know his qualities and he’s a personality within the squad as well. Let’s hope we can get him fit and on the pitch to help us.”
Club captain Seamus Coleman missed the Sunday game with illness, but should be in the matchday squad tomorrow.
“Seamus is better now, having been unwell. He’ll be in the squad. Whether he can start or not will be one to keep an eye on over the next 24 hours.”
Striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to come under sustained criticism as his goal drought continues, but Lampard insisted that he is up for the challenge.
“Dominic is in a good place to go again, he’s had a lot of injuries and the day before West Ham was feeling a bit stiff. We have three games in six days and want to manage him right.
“But he is right and ready and looking sharper. He is [putting pressure on himself] because he is a top talent, a player who wants to do the best and perform. He is hungry and has my backing. It is time to stop talking, hopefully, to stay fit and deliver on the pitch.”
Tomorrow’s relegation six-pointer is going to go a long way towards deciding the futures of both Everton and Burnley. The Toffees sit four points ahead of the Clarets and with both teams having played the same number of games, and while a loss away tomorrow will not automatically spell doom, it will certainly make navigating the next two months a lot, lot hairier considering the difficulty of Everton’s schedule.