Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed that long-term absentees Yannick Bolasie and Mo Besic are the only major casualties for Saturday’s clash against Middlesbrough, while he has a selection headache in midfield.
The Blues are coming off the back of a commanding 6-3 victory over Bournemouth last weekend, with hopes in the Goodison Park faithful that the Toffees can put together a winning run of form.
However, Koeman has some hard decisions to make in the centre of his midfield, with five top-class options all fighting for two spots.
Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies, Gareth Barry, James McCarthy and Idrissa Gueye all are ready to play if selected, but it appears that the Dutch coach has a plethora of players at his disposal to feature in the boiler room.
“That’s the competition what we have,” Koeman told the club’s official website.
“With that competition, we have the detail that we need [to play against] every opponent.
“We can change and we don’t drop quality. And in detail, all the midfield players are different.
“It’s difficult sometimes because you get some people disappointed and frustrated but it’s business and the most important thing is to get the results.”
Gueye was a revelation in the first part of the campaign but has been unavailable for around a month after competing for Senegal in the African Cup of Nations.
Davies thrived in the former Aston Villa man’s absence, while Schneiderlin has also made an impressive start to life on Merseyside following a January transfer from Manchester United.
With McCarthy not allowed to leave Goodison last month also, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod to play for Everton in the trip to the Riverside Stadium.