Frank Lampard is overlooking Vitalii Mykolenko, Nathan Patterson and Jarrad Branthwaite because they’re not doing enough in training.
That’s according to Gregg Evans, writing for The Athletic.
Everton shelled out £21.15million to sign left-back Mykolenko from Dynamo Kyiv in January, but he’s only started one Premier League game so far.
Lampard is presently favouring a predominant right-back in Jonjoe Kenny in that position.
And Brainthwaite, valued at £2.7million by Transfermarkt, has only started one top-flight match this season.
Evans was asked in a Q & A on The Athletic’s website why Mykolenko, Patterson and Branthwaite were finding opportunities limited.
“From what I’m hearing,” he replied, “Frank Lampard is making his selections based on what he sees in training.”
It follows that the trio aren’t impressing sufficiently at Finch Farm to change the pecking order.
Evans stresses that Lampard has ‘no problem’, based on his stint at Chelsea, with fielding young players in big games.
But he questioned the wisdom of recruiting two inexperienced full-backs in January as they were unlikely to solve Everton’s ‘big problem’ with defending.
It’s inevitable that Lampard’s defensive selection is under scrutiny.
The Toffees shipped five goals in their defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night, leading Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher to brand their back four ‘Championship’ standard.
Branthwaite, however, may get his chance this weekend after coming on in North London.
Michael Keane has been dealing with illness this week and arguably doesn’t deserve to play anyway after producing a 5.8/10 performance (SofaScore).
In other news, talks over this transfer will take place in the next few weeks.
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