By Azeem Siddiqui

23rd Sep, 2022 | 6:10am

Frank Lampard must turn to back three for Everton defensive solidity without Nathan Patterson

Everton knew they had to make major improvements this year after barely scraping clear of relegation at the tail end of last season.

Even though the campaign started poorly, the team has slowly grown into a better one and have finally managed to secure their first win of the campaign as they defeated West Ham in their previous outing (18 September).

However, the Toffees have now suffered a massive blow as one of their star performers this season, Nathan Patterson, has suffered an injury during the international break [BBC Sport].

Frank Lampard’s real test

When Frank Lampard joined Everton and replaced Rafa Benitez on the bench, many thought that he might not prove to be the right candidate for the job.

Not only the former Derby manager managed to guide the team to safety in the previous campaign, but in the summer transfer window he made some notable additions that have definitely improved the squad’s depth and quality.

However, now it seems like Lampard has his toughest test yet as he is now set to be without one of the star performers from his formidable back four, since Patterson appears set to be out for a considerable amount of time.

The young Scot’s absence will be severely felt as not only has he been brilliant at the back but also very good going forward, something his replacement Seamus Coleman is unlikely to match at this stage of his career.

Therefore, it will not be a bad idea if he goes back to three at the back instead of having a traditional back four where Coleman can play as the third centre-back.

By doing that, Everton might have similar solidity in the defensive unit and that should help the side in continuing the momentum.