By Mark Smith

16th Sep, 2020 | 5:15pm

Never-before-seen Everton youngster sends Ancelotti message ahead of Salford clash

Everton haven’t only strengthened their midfield this summer, also bringing in a young defender from France.

Niels Nkounkou arrived on a free transfer after leaving Marseille and featured in pre-season for the Toffees after impressing in training.

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to make many changes for the Carabao Cup clash against Salford, after the tough season-opening win at Spurs.

Nkounkou could be one of those, and the 19-year-old has delivered a message to his manager ahead of the second-round tie.

“It is down to the manager’s decision on who is playing and who is not,” he told the Liverpool Echo.

“I will find out today what happens in that regard. But what I can say is that I have been working really hard in training since I arrived here. That’s all you can do – work hard in training to be ready and I can confirm I am ready if called upon.”

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Lucas Digne started the win at Tottenham on Sunday and delivered an assist for the winner from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The Frenchman is set to have a big season at Goodison Park this yet after impressing since arriving, and these Carabao Cup clashes could be the perfect time to give him a rest.

Nkounkou started with the under-23s when arriving at the club, but quickly transitioned to training with the first-team, and that proves Ancelotti has been impressed with what he has seen.

The French youngsters’ inclusion in friendlies against the likes of Blackpool also proves he is in the Italian’s plans, and Wednesday night could be when we get our first real glimpse of the defensive talent.

In other Everton news, the Toffees table ‘good offer’ for this Serie A winger