According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton has received a significant setback ahead of their crucial final match against Bournemouth, as Nathan Patterson is expected to be unavailable due to injury, writes the GN.
The right-back sustained a hamstring injury during the 1-1 draw against Wolves on May 20, compounding the injury crisis in that position. Seamus Coleman and Ruben Vinagre are already ruled out, while Vitalii Mykolenko’s participation is uncertain. Although Mykolenko might have a chance to return for the season’s last game, which holds relegation implications, potential replacement Ben Godfrey is also considered uncertain to feature.
Midfielder Tom Davies is in a race against time to recover, but manager Sean Dyche’s main concern lies in the forward position, as Dominic Calvert-Lewin left the game at Molineux with an injury and doubts are growing regarding his availability for the clash against Bournemouth. Everton currently holds a two-point advantage over Leeds United and Leicester City, but a loss to Gary O’Neil’s side combined with a victory for either relegation rival would result in Everton’s downfall, making the mounting injury problems especially untimely.
If Dyche had a fully fit squad and the match at Goodison went smoothly without any problems, it would hardly resemble the Everton team of the past two challenging seasons. Earlier in his tenure, the manager resorted to using center-backs in the full-back positions, but that approach yielded little success. Consequently, the potential absence of all four senior full-back options is a cause for concern.
Ben Godfrey has appeared uncomfortable on both sides, and Mason Holgate struggled significantly when deployed out of position in the past. Therefore, it might be more sensible to utilize wing-backs in the form of Dwight McNeil and Alex Iwobi. Both players naturally excel on the flanks and have demonstrated commendable effort in tracking back to assist their full-backs at times this season.
However, if Calvert-Lewin is unavailable, there will already be a notable void in the attack. Shifting the two potential wingers deeper will further compound this issue. Dyche recently received praise for successfully managing the striker’s recovery from his previous setback, leading to a string of consecutive appearances. Unfortunately, luck hasn’t quite held up long enough, resulting in anxious days for fans awaiting news on the 26-year-old’s condition, as well as for several of his teammates.