Everton boss Marco Silva did not rule out a debut for Yerry Mina in Sunday’s Premier League clash with Arsenal as his defensive injury concerns begin to ease.
The defender was a high-profile signing from Barcelona in the summer transfer window but only began training with the rest of the squad last week after recovering from a foot injury.
Everton have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and a poor display at the back saw them concede three goals against West Ham last weekend.
Silva said: “Mina is working with the team for a full week until now. He’s getting better every day and getting fit as well.”
With a new manager at the helm and a raft of changes to the squad, Everton have found their attempts to gel as a team hampered by a number of injuries, particularly at the back.
Jonjoe Kenny, Mason Holgate, Kurt Zouma and Lucas Digne made up the back four against the Hammers, with Leighton Baines the only other fit defender after Seamus Coleman suffered a stress fracture in his foot.
He remains unavailable this weekend, while centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Michael Keane have also been sidelined, although the latter is available again after recovering from a hairline fracture of the skull.
The situation is at least improving, and Silva said: “We will be stronger for sure if we have all of them in a good condition, it’s what you want to do.
“It looks better now. The last situation with Coleman wasn’t the best but now is the moment for us to work with them to try to get them in good physical condition to be ready to play if I take a decision.”
Everton’s defensive woes last weekend could tempt Silva to throw Keane or Mina in, with previously pointless West Ham capitalising on shaky play, including a mistake from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Silva has made it clear to his players this week that he expects much better when they visit the Emirates on Sunday.
The Portuguese said: “Of course the second goal was one moment with Jordan but the other two, we have to do better in that situation like we prepared.
“It’s something we analysed during the week. They already know what we did in the wrong way and what I expect in the next game that we don’t do the same.”
Everton will be boosted at the other end, meanwhile, by the return of joint top-scorer Richarlison after he completed a three-game ban.
The Brazilian made a fantastic start to life on Merseyside with three goals in two games following his move from Watford before his sending off against Bournemouth last month.
Silva said: “It’s important, of course, he’s an important player for us. He started the season very well, scoring important goals, helping the squad. He’s able to play now, which is good news for us.”
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