Everton midfielder Amadou Onana started Saturday’s win against Southampton despite being ill, writes the TBR.
In an interview with the club’s official website, Frank Lampard said that several players weren’t 100% going into the game.
One of those players was Onana, and despite the 21-year-old ‘struggling’, Lampard admitted he was still ‘pivotal’ to the result.
“It was a tough game for us in a way today because Anthony (Gordon) was not well, but was on the bench.” Lampard said.
“Amadou (Onana) was not well, but played the game and was pivotal in moments but was struggling.
“Seamus (Coleman) came in, after not playing for a long time.
“So, for us to get three points in that situation was a big deal and we have to keep going.”
Lampard’s side started the season with six league games without a win, and there were concerns the Toffees might be in another relegation battle.
However, back-to-back wins over West Ham and Southampton have lifted safely into mid-table.
Although scoring goals has been an issue this season – Everton are still averaging less than one a game – they do have the best defensive record in the league.
This can be put down to Everton bringing in a whole new spine to their team.
Coady and James Tarkowski have been brilliant at the back, and have formed a great partnership on and off the pitch.
Onana has also been fantastic, and it’s no surprise Lampard still wanted to start despite being ill.
Jamie Redknapp called him a ‘special talent’ and it’s easy to see why.
Onana is an imposing figure, standing at six foot five, and is a fantastic in aerial duels.
Defensively he’s brilliant too, and ranks as one of the best tacklers in Europe.
However, on the ball he offers so much as well, capable of dribbling past players and breaking opposition presses.
Alongside Idrissa Gueye and Alex Iwobi, Lampard has a seriously impressive midfield available to him.