By Nick Ware

23rd Sep, 2021 | 7:10pm

Phil Thompson shares Everton squad fears after recent injuries

Phil `Thompson believes there could be trouble on the horizon for Everton unless they can get their key players back fit as soon as possible.

After a supreme start to the season that saw Everton go five games unbeaten at the beginning of Rafa Benitez’s Blues reign, the Toffees have suffered a double blow over the last week.

On Saturday, a depleted squad travelled down to Birmingham and lost 3-0 to Aston Villa, before Tuesday saw a League Cup exit in London as QPR beat the Blues on penalties.

Speaking on the ‘Where’s Jeff?’ podcast [23/09/21], ex-Liverpool defender Thompson has expressed concerns over the state of the squad.

“Everton are struggling at the moment, being without [Dominic] Calvert-Lewin who has really become a big part of the way they play,” Thompson said.

“You need that central one and then Richarlison gets injured as well. They’ve got their problems, Everton.

“I really think their lack of depth in their squad is showing, and their investment. You’re looking at the strength now, you’re going ‘wow’, they need to get them back fit as soon as possible otherwise that good start that they’ve had, they could pay for it.”

Ruing their luck

Everton’s fine start to the 2021/22 campaign has been hampered by recent injuries to their star names.

Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison, Jordan Pickford and Seamus Coleman are all first-choice picks for Benitez, but he has been shorn of their services recently.

That would be a blow regardless of anything else, but the fact that he was hamstrung in the summer transfer window by FFP regulations means he is now forced to cope with a squad lacking real depth.

Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray were inexpensive signings who have performed admirably thus far, but with their two main attacking stars out, a lot of responsibility has been thrown on them.

The club’s front three last season read as Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and James Rodriguez – the trip to Villa Park on Saturday saw a trio of Townsend, Gray and Salomon Rondon, supplemented by Alex Iwobi.

The drop-down in quality is too much, and it’s no wonder the Blues have struggled in recent games.

In other Everton news, Thomas Muller has sent a seven-word message to a player on Twitter after this Blues post.

Be sure to follow Goodison News on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on Everton and more exclusive interviews with Kevin Campbell.