The Lowdown: Premier League returns
After the break for the World Cup in Qatar, the Premier League returns today with the first round of festive domestic fixtures.
The Goodison Park outfit are at home to bottom-of-the-table Wolves under new manager Julen Lopetegui, with Lampard under pressure to get his team off to a good post-World Cup start as they sit just outside the relegation zone themselves.
The likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate are reportedly fitness doubts for the game, while both James Garner and Andros Townsend have been ruled out with longer-term injuries and Conor Coady is ineligible to face his parent club.
The Latest: Youngsters involved?
Speaking before the match (via Liverpool Echo), Lampard has claimed that Cannon, Price and Mills could all be on the bench for Everton and be involved against Wolves, having impressed during their mid-season tour of Australia when the squad were trying to build up match fitness.
When asked about the trio’s possible involvement today, the Toffees manager said: “Without a doubt. They will have to continue and keep working and improving and not get disheartened if the opportunity doesn’t come as they see it after Australia and going forward. The more they train and the better they train then they will get opportunities.
“Isaac was probably our best player, he had a fantastic two games in Australia, Tommy Cannon has been playing regularly well, scoring and training with us. They have both got a lot to improve and learn in their game, that is absolutely normal, but at the minute they are part of the first team squad rather than part of the U21s that come up to us when we need them – with Stanley Mills as well.
“That can sometimes change as injured players return and stuff like that but at the minute they are training and they are training at a level that keeps the level high so they are definitely knocking on the door and possibly both – Isaac and Tommy and possibly Stan – could be on the bench on Boxing Day.”
The Verdict: Deserve their chance
Cannon, Price and Mills all deserve their chance in the Everton first team based on their performances in Australia and in training with the senior squad.
Cannon has been especially impressive for the under-21s this season, with 11 goals and three assists in 15 games so far, while the striker has also played twice under Lampard at senior level (Transfermarkt).
Price is also producing from central midfield, with four goals and two assists in 15 matches (Transfermarkt), while winger Mills has seven goals in 10 under-21 appearances and has also featured twice under Lampard this term (Transfermarkt).
It will be interesting to see if the Everton manager decides to use any of those three from the bench as the Toffees take on Wolves this afternoon.
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