Everton: £16m star may now return ‘sooner than expected’ at Goodison Park

Everton manager Frank Lampard applauds

Everton defender Nathan Patterson could return from injury ‘sooner’ than originally expected, according to journalist Simon Phillips.

The 20-year-old has made an impressive start to the season under the tutelage of manager Frank Lampard but is now set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

What is the latest news involving Patterson?

Patterson was stretchered off Scotland’s 3-0 victory over Ukraine during the recent international break and was immediately whisked to Everton’s Finch Farm training base for tests.

An initial report from The Times claimed that the attack-minded right-back could be on the treatment table for up to two months after picking up an ankle problem.

However, a more recent prognosis is that Patterson will be back in action after four or five weeks, news that will have come as a relief to Everton manager Frank Lampard.

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Patterson arrived in the blue half of Merseyside in January after completing a £16 million move from boyhood club Rangers, yet he struggled to make an instant impact in English football.

Those early struggles were put to bed by a string of impressive displays to kickstart 2022/23, and Everton will surely be eager to get the youngster back onto the pitch as soon as possible.

What has Phillips said about Patterson?

Phillips has backed up reports suggesting Patterson’s enforced absence could be shorter than first anticipated, stating that it is not ‘all doom and gloom’.

He told GiveMeSport: “I did speak to my source on his injury, and there’s some positivity that he might be back sooner than six weeks, more sort of four to five weeks.

“So, we’ll have to see the full impact of that one and how quickly he recovers, but it’s not all doom and gloom, there’s a bit more positivity that he might come back sooner than first expected.”

How big a loss will Patterson be?

Everton may have won only one Premier League game this season, but their solid backline has meant they have also been defeated on just two occasions.

Lampard’s charges have leaked six goals in their opening seven top-flight fixtures, meaning they have the joint-second best defensive record in the division.

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And Patterson has been a key part of that back four, starting all seven league games and averaging four tackles per game, the highest tally amongst his teammates, as per WhoScored.

His absence from Everton’s matchday squad will be a blow for Lampard, therefore, and he’ll be hoping the experienced Seamus Coleman steps up over the next month or so.

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