Everton duo Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Abdoulaye Doucoure are set to return to Frank Lampard’s first-team squad this weekend, although neither are likely to start against West Ham United, according to journalist Simon Phillips.
The key duo have both been nursing injuries in recent weeks but could soon return to action as the Toffees eye their first win of the Premier League season.
What is the latest on the pair?
Calvert-Lewin is yet to play a game for Everton this season after picking up a knee injury in training ahead of their season-opener against Chelsea.
The £72,000 per-week star missed a large chunk of last term with injury problems too and will be desperate to avoid a repeat of that fate this time around.
Doucoure, meanwhile, started Everton’s first two games of the season but was withdrawn after 35 minutes against Aston Villa with a hamstring injury. He has since missed their subsequent five top-flight games.
But Lampard has confirmed that both stars have recently returned to full training at Finch Farm ahead of this weekend’s clash with West Ham.
What has Phillips said on the duo?
Phillips believes that both Doucoure and Calvert-Lewin will be included in the matchday squad to face West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
However, the journalist adds that neither are likely to start, given their lack of match practice.
When asked about Calvert-Lewin’s potential return, Phillips told GIVEMESPORT: “I don’t think he’s going to get risked at the moment. I think he’ll be in the squad but I can’t see him starting the game. Same as well with Doucoure. I don’t think that either player will come into the starting line-up straight away.”
How big a boost is the pair’s return?
Doucoure has made 70 appearances for the Toffees since making the move in the summer of 2020, becoming an integral member of the side, scoring five goals and providing seven assists in that time.
Calvert-Lewin missed 16 Premier League games with injury last season as Everton battled relegation.
Given he has bagged 58 goals for Everton in 191 games, it is no surprise the club’s form has suffered in his absence, and Lampard will be delighted to have him back and available again.
But keeping both players fit will now be a priority, so rushing them into the starting XI straight away would likely be a reckless move. The very last thing Lampard needs is either star on the sidelines for another elongated period.