Losing Jean-Philippe Gbamin until 2021 is bad enough as the Premier League restart hurdles forward; the Yerry Mina injury is nightmarish.
With Yerry Mina tearing a thigh muscle in training, the backline at Everton looks even more exposed than before the COVID-19 work stoppage. Now, while Everton are in search for more defensive help this summer, that does nothing for the rest of the current Premier League campaign.
While Everton has little to play for in the restart other than pride, and potentially a spot in Europe, this injury to Yerry Mina could have long-lasting ramifications beyond these final games; it is similar to Jean-Phillipe Gbamin in this way.
With both players out for extended periods of time with major lower-body injuries, one cannot help but appraise the position Everton finds themselves in; in both the immediate and long run, it has the unfortunate potential to be truly massive.
Everton: The Yerry Mina injury, long and short term fallout
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The short term is fairly straight forward; with Yerry Mina, Everton was going to need the entire squad to step up defensively. Without the Colombian international, that much more will fall on players like Mason Holgate, Fabian Delph in the slightly advanced position, as well as the rest of the backline.
Lucas Digne is a wonderful left-back, and yet he cannot shoulder the entire burden by himself; Djibril Sidibe on the right has proven valuable from the right-back location to be sure. Meanwhile, Michael Keane, Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman will have to figure out how to make up for the lost talent in front of Jordan Pickford.
Should Everton get their offence rolling smoothly, the pressure would certainly be removed from the defence; this to me appears the best chance that Everton has for sneaking into the top five/six in England. Beyond that, however, is when things become more difficult to truly ascertain.
Everton: What does the future hold?
It would be a truly massive swing should Everton get into European football; with the defensive injuries sustained over the year, it would be as close to a miracle as Everton will have enjoyed in decades likely. Doing so would get the Toffees further funds and wage limits per European qualifications.
That would be wonderful for so many reasons; aside from the possibility of further trophies and competition, the money would really assist Everton in fixing their defensive issues as well.
As it appears less likely to occur however, we’ll attack the topic believing Everton will remain outside of European competition next year. Everton do have some spending money even with the current economic downturn; on that list remains defensive depth and midfield expertise.
Names like Gabriel Magalhaes remain in play, despite earlier appearances that he was set for Chelsea. Idrissa Gueye of PSG might also be welcomed back to Everton to help fill the role vacated by Jean-Phillipe Gbamin’s injury. That Gbamin was Gueye’s replacement is but a note of strange irony that we see in football as well from time to time.
While there are certainly other names available at both defensive positions for the Toffees, those two names remain ones to keep an eye out for. Should Everton want to make an impact next season, they will have to shore up the backline and midfield to be certain; this year has been proof of the importance that defence plays even in this era of wonderful offensive football. If this campaign for Everton is not proof enough, then the last few Liverpool seasons must surely be.