Yannick Bolasie could return to action to Everton way ahead of schedule and play a part in Monday night’s game with Swansea City.
The Congolese winger had not been expected to return to first-team action for another couple of weeks but according to new Everton boss Sam Allardyce, he could return to the bench on Monday night.
Speaking in his press conference ahead of the game, Allardyce said: “We’ve got Yannick Bolasie training and he will probably play some part for the Under-23s tonight.
"We’ll see what happens with that and may – depending on the whole team here – have a discussion on whether that makes him available for selection on Monday night against Swansea.”
Bolasie, 28, has been out injured since last December after injuring his cruciate knee ligament against Manchester United but returned for Everton’s Under-23s against Leicester City on Monday afternoon.
The former Crystal Palace man told Sky Sports News in November that there was ‘no time frame’ on his return but that he was inching closer to training with the first-team.
He returned to first-team training two weeks later prior to Everton’s Europa League defeat at the hands of Atalanta.
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Much needed return
Everton have missed Bolasie’s ability to get them further up the field with his pace but under Allardyce, they’ve also lacked a true winger who can beat a marker and get good, regular crosses into the box.
Aaron Lennon has done a serviceable job so far, especially with his defensive work rate too, but he lacks Bolasie’s skill.
The two could complement each other well if Bolasie’s return leads to him playing on the left-wing in front of either Leighton Baines or current stand-in left-back Cuco Martina.
Allardyce is expected to target forward reinforcements during the January transfer window but the return of the Congolese forward may force a change in his plans in terms of possibly finding a wide man.