Everton are hopeful that Seamus Coleman will not miss an extended spell after sustaining a hamstring injury while representing the Republic of Ireland, per the Liverpool Echo.
Coleman picked up the issue during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan and had to sit out Tuesday’s draw with Serbia. The results leave Stephen Kenny’s Boys in Green fifth in Group A, 11-points behind leaders Portugal and needing a miracle to qualify for the World Cup.
The Toffees captain has already returned to Finch Farm for club doctors to assess the full extent of his injury. They will continue monitoring the situation as the 32-year-old begins his recovery, but are hopeful the issue is not severe.
Early indications suggest Coleman has not suffered a serious hamstring injury, so should not miss many of Everton’s fixtures. He will, however, likely miss next Monday’s visit of Burnley to Goodison Park, in a blow for Rafa Benitez.
Coleman has started and played the full 90 during all three Premier League fixtures through Benitez’s Toffees tenure thus far. Everton are unbeaten under the Spaniard, with victories over Southampton and Brighton bookending a 2-2 draw with Leeds last month.
Jonjoe Kenny is the likely candidate to replace Coleman until the 59-cap international has overcome his injury. Benitez and Director of Football Marcel Brands ultimately did not sign a new right-back during the recently-concluded summer transfer market.
Benitez could turn to one of Mason Holgate or Ben Godfrey if Kenny is unfavoured, after standing in last term. Holgate opened 15 of his 26 Premier League starts at full-back under Carlo Ancelotti last season. Godfrey, meanwhile, featured four times at right-back, eight times at left-back and 18 times at centre-half following a £20m transfer from Norwich City.
Who should Benitez field while Everton are without Coleman through injury?
Everton will miss Coleman while Benitez is without his £70k-a-week captain through injury. He started the season promisingly against Southampton, often pushing up the wing to offer Andros Townsend support. The Irish star also shut off most of Leeds’ attacks at Elland Road while pushing forward to support Alex Iwobi.
Coleman’s runs caused Brighton issues, too, and saw the Toffees win a penalty when fouled by Joel Veltman. The Seagulls defender forced to bring Coleman down as he chased Allan’s perfectly weighted through ball. The 2009 arrival from Sligo Rovers also paired well with Richarlison as the Toffees sought to apply more pressure.
Kenny, if selected, will have his work cut out to ensure Everton do not drop a beat without Coleman. Benitez is yet to call on the 24-year-old outside of the Carabao Cup when given 90 minutes at Huddersfield Town. The academy graduate delivered some decent crosses at the John Smith’s Stadium, despite not pushing forward to the same extent as Coleman has.