Mikel on injuries and Dyche’s arrival at Everton

Thomas Partey in action against Manchester City

Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Thomas Partey could feature in Saturday’s game against Everton at Goodison Park.

The Ghanaian midfielder was forced off at half-time in our last outing at Manchester City with a rib injury, but thankfully Mikel revealed it isn’t something that will trouble us long-term.

Having admitted that Emile Smith Rowe is definitely out for this one, Arteta believes it remains to be seen if Thomas will be available as we head to the blue half of Merseyside looking for our first win there since 2017.

Providing an update in his pre-match press conference, the boss said: “He’s not ruled out. It’s nothing very significant but it was significant enough to get him out of the [Manchester City] game, which for Thomas is unusual. Hopefully he will be fine.

“Let’s see - that one is still a doubt. Let’s see today how he comes in and if he’s able to train with the team or not. We will make a decision on that.”

We’ll be taking on a Toffees side hoping to experience a new manager bounce following the arrival of Sean Dyche on Monday, who replaced Frank Lampard with Everton languishing in 19th in the table, kept off the bottom only due to Southampton’s inferior goal difference.

The former Burnley boss will be hoping to make an instant impact at our expense, having lost just one of his last five encounters with us during his time at the Clarets. Mikel feels that his appointment is a shrewd one for his former club, and he wished Dyche all the best in his fight against the drop - following Saturday’s game of course!

“They have tried to accommodate the right character for the circumstance the club is in,” he said. “What Sean and the coaching staff did at Burnley speaks for itself. With the limited resources they had, they got incredible results very consistently in this very tough league. 

“I like the character a lot, the presence and the clarity he brings to his team. Hopefully after tomorrow, he will be a great fit for Everton. When there is a new manager the environment will change, and a lot of things change during the week, so it’s going to be a really tough test.”

Watch or read Mikel's full pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's game with Everton

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