By Paul Blakeman

Everton manager Marco Silva was the one who decided not to start Ademola Lookman on Saturday, as the Toffees drew 2-2 against Wolverhampton Wanderers in their season opener at Molineux – but the coach insists that he wasn’t injured.

Despite Wolves being a newly promoted side, they set the Championship alight last year and spent heavily in the transfer window to strengthen and secure, so this game presented a stern test for the Goodison Park outfit.

This test was made even tougher when Everton talisman Phil Jagielka was sent off in the 40th minute for showing his studs to attacker Diogo Jota in a heavy tackle.

However, the Toffees winger, who enjoyed a prosperous loan spell at RB Leipzig last season scoring five goals in 11 league games, was simply left out as the Merseyside outfit’s new coach could not find room for him in the 18-man squad.

“Not injured. My decision. He is in my plans. He is an important player for us as a club,” the Liverpool Echo quote Everton boss Silva as saying.

“I know all the speculation. I know everything what’s happened. Since the first day, I told the owner, I told everybody at the club and I did my technical analyse [sic] about him and he is a good player, good talent, he is a player that went on loan last five or six months. Did well. Improve as well.

“Of course, was happy there. Now is our moment to put him happy here, to work with him, to improve his qualities and his profile as well as a player as he is our present and our future.”

The Toffees will be looking to pick up their first win of the season at home to Southampton on August 18 and Silva will hope to improve on Everton’s disastrous campaign last year.


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