Everton keeper Tim Howard hails 'man-mountain' Joel Robles

The injured Tim Howard has been more than impressed with how Everton backup Joel Robles has deputised in his absence.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard has hailed the job backup Joel Robles has done in his absence over recent weeks.

Howard has been out of action since picking up a calf strain just before half-time of the Boxing Day clash against Stoke, and isn’t expected to return to the pitch for another couple of weeks.

Manager Roberto Martinez has since been scouring the transfer market for cover but, with Robles performing better than expected over the past eight games, the desperation has been alleviated.

"Joel is a guy who I have worked with for 18 months now,” Howard said. “He’s a mountain of a man but is still only a young boy. He’s an infant when it comes to goalkeeping.

“He’s learning all the time and getting better. I was really proud of him and the way he handled himself in a very difficult defeat at West Ham.

“I can’t say enough about what I think about him as a person. He’s getting better and better.”

Robles, 24, signed for Everton from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2013, having worked with Martinez at Wigan Athletic on a six-month loan stint.

There were considerable doubts over whether he would be able to handle deputising for Howard for an extended period, but the former Spain Under-21 international appears to have won both the fans and the media alike over in recent weeks with a number of encouraging outings.

Furthermore, with Howard’s performances coming in for some criticism over the first half of the season, it could be suggested that Martinez will have a goalkeeping battle on his hands once the US international returns to full fitness.

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