Koeman hints at striker debut

16 Sep

Boss Ronald Koeman has hinted Enner Valencia could make his Everton debut against Middlesbrough while Ross Barkley could miss out.

Everton: Koeman hints at striker debutEverton: Koeman hints at striker debut

Deadline-day signing Valencia missed out on a place in the squad for Monday’s win at Sunderland but Koeman suggested in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s visit of Boro that the loanee would be involved.

Tom Cleverley could also come back into contention after returning to full training but fellow midfielders Darren Gibson and James McCarthy have not recovered from their respective injuries in time.

Muhamed Besic and Tyias Browning are long-term absentees due to their respective knee injuries.

Meanwhile, Koeman has suggested he could leave Barkley out of his starting line-up following his poor showing at Sunderland, with the Dutch coach opting to take the midfielder off at half-time on Monday.

The Everton boss has challenged the England international to up his game if he wants to hang on to his place in the team.

Koeman said: “If you play a match, you analyse it, and of course there was a reason to change Ross at half-time – because he did not play well.

“He lost many balls and a player of that quality can’t lose those kind of balls. We always analyse the game, and then you have individual talks, and of course I had an individual talk with Ross.

“He needs to improve, but okay – we will see at the weekend.”


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