Holgate and Branthwaite return to training

Wednesday, 28 October, 2020 33comments  |  Jump to last

Everton are finally getting better news on the injury front with absentees Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite returning to training.

Holgate has missed Everton's first 9 games of the season because of the toe injury he picked up in the final pre-season friendly against Preston North End back in September.

With this news, Carlo Ancelotti is finally seeing his extensive injury list slowly start to clear, although it will take more time for Holgate to be declared match-fit.

Jarrad Branthwaite is also back in training after his ankle problem, which should help to restore the first-team choices available to Ancelotti at centre-back, although he will be expected to stick with Mina and Keane in the backline at Newcastle on Sunday.

Seamus Coleman's hamstring issue is described as not as too serious, while Jonjoe Kenny will be hopeful of being fit enough to be in contention to play at right-back for Sunday's visit to Newcastle United.

And long-term absentee Jean-Philippe Gbamin is expected to start working with the Everton squad "soon", with the most recent update saying a time between late October and early November was being targeted.

Since the beginning of the month, Gbamin has been working in his native France with an outfit called Odysium as he looks to rebuild his fitness.

That leaves Cenk Tosun as the only other long-term absentee, in recovery from ACL damage, and not due to return before the end of the year.


Reader Comments (33)

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Chris Williams
1 Posted 28/10/2020 at 07:47:35
I see that Holgate is back training with the first team, according to reports and some footage of Gbamin doing some running at Finch Farm.

Fingers crossed for him.

Tony Everan
2 Posted 28/10/2020 at 11:23:50
Great news. Mason definitely adds something to the team when he plays, he has got a desire and energy that those in front of him feed off. I think he is a good talker too, and we will see more of him organising and motivating the team.

Mina’s place will be under threat, so hopefully he will respond to that and improve further. I think he has done well this season in general bar one or two mistakes.

So we now have 5 fit CB’s but no RB. I wonder if Mason can get fit enough to play RB for a week or two ? He has a bit more experience in the role than Godfrey and would be a better stand in.

Another thing , As Richarlison is still out and I don’t want to see Siggurdson or Iwobi start . I want a bit more strength , tackling and pace in the midfield

How about shifting Godfrey into a DCM position alongside Allan ? Then playing Doucoure central bit further forward .

Then a front three of James , DCL and Gordon .

Chris Gould
3 Posted 28/10/2020 at 11:31:22
Jonjoe Kenny must be gutted to have got injured at the same time as Coleman. Holgate would have been a far better option to help out at right-back than Godfrey. Nobody could have predicted all 3 being out at the same time. We look very vulnerable down that side and without Richarlison and Digne we will be equally vulnerable down our left.

Looking forward to seeing young Nkounkou play, but it's a huge step up and another worry if he has Iwobi or Bernard in front of him. Likewise, Gordon doesn't fill me with confidence in giving Nkounkou adequate protection.

Derek Knox
4 Posted 28/10/2020 at 11:50:28
Any injured players on the way back is always good news, but Holgate has definitely been missed. A mention must go to Michael Keane who has been a totally different player since we started the new campaign, and furthermore an ever present.

Mason would also have been a stop gap RB having played there many a time and his season on loan at WBA was in that position so he knows how to perform there, plus he has that turn of speed and a bit of aggression. (re : Firmino)

Good to hear too that Jarrad is nearing fitness though barring any more injuries, I think he will be mostly on the bench with maybe a cameo later on in games, depending on the state of play.

Someone on another thread said that JP Gbamin was also back in fitness training, and yet there is little mention of him anywhere, that I could see at any rate. We still don't really know what he is capable of, as he has had a horrific catalogue of injuries before he could establish himself.

Is he the extra CM that we desperately need to keep Gomes and Davies on their toes, and also deputise for Allan and Doucoure should the unthinkable happen? Only time will tell!

Derek Knox
5 Posted 28/10/2020 at 12:28:02
I have just seen what could be an amendment to my previous post, I looked on Newsnow and happened to see an article whose source was the Red Echo, so don't know how true it could be.

Basically saying that JP Gbamin has been training in Paris (not sure why) and IS nearing full fitness and expected to be available between November and December. I just hope and pray this time it works out for the lad, and more importantly Everton.

James Marshall
6 Posted 28/10/2020 at 12:38:39
Tony @2,

I have recollection of Godfrey playing right-back more than a few times with Norwich last season. I reckon he can do a job there – it was one of the reasons we bought him, because he's versatile.

Jamie Crowley
7 Posted 28/10/2020 at 12:39:33
Surely we’ll look to sell one of our CBs in January?

Keane, Mina, Holgate, Godfrey, Branthwaite all for two starting positions?

The flip side is the competition for places will simply be off the charts and keep those players on their toes for sure.

Eddie Dunn
8 Posted 28/10/2020 at 13:23:52
Tony, after seeing young Godfrey playing like a fish out of water in an unfamiliar position, why on Earth would you think it was a good idea to pop him in the midfield? We have Delph, Davies, Allan, Doucouré, who are all midfielders. Not the time to start experimenting.
Robert Leigh
9 Posted 28/10/2020 at 13:34:32
Great news that Mason is on the way back - he was without doubt our best CB throughout the entirety of last season (and indeed did well in midfield).

As said above, Kenny must be gutted to have missed a chance to impress; though hopefully he is fit for Newcastle.

When Digne is available I'd like to see young Nkoukou given a game further up the wing, as memory serves he was signed as a winger come left-back? His pace and defensive awareness would make him a decent option as cover for Richarlison surely.

With other injuries it must be tempting to play a back three;

Godfrey - Mina - Keane
Kenny - Allan - Doucouré - Nkoukou
James - Calvert-Lewin - Gordon

Michael Connelly
10 Posted 28/10/2020 at 14:16:12
If Godfrey has to play right back at Newcastle, then James needs shifting away from the right touchline. Thought Iwobi did well at right midfield at Norwich at the back end of last season, and his defensive cover was good that game.

Gordon's pace and energy is necessary to replace Richarlison down the left, in my view.

I would go a 4-4-1-1:





If Kenny is fit enough to start at right back, then Iwobi drops out, and Sigurdsson or Gomes come into the team, similar to the first 5 games.

John Kavanagh
11 Posted 28/10/2020 at 14:43:38
Great to see our injured players returning. I think out of the 5 CBs, Mina is the weakest option longer term as his performances are inconsistent and he is prone to errors. Not having Holgate available to deputise as a right back last Sunday cost us dearly - and no blame at all to Godfrey who gave 100%.
For the barcodes I'd definitely risk having both Nkounkou and Gordon on the left - so long as we have a more combative midfielder on the left side - not Sigurdsson or Bernard who once again let us down badly last Sunday. I'd give the nod to Davies or Gomes.
Gordon provides exactly the sort of threat we so clearly lacked in Richarlison's absence and he could have turned the tide had our friend Friend not intervened to maintain Southampton's superiority. As for Iwobi, I'd only have him serving the half time drinks, but he'd probably do a Pickford and drop them.
Jay Harris
12 Posted 28/10/2020 at 15:08:41
Great news that Holgate is back in training and reputedly Jonjoe Kenny is nearing availability for Newcastle.

The one question is will James be fit and how would we setup if he is.

If fit I think its a no brainer to play Holgate right-back as he is quick and has good technical ability moreso than Kenny who just seems to lack that extra bit of quality although he does have the drive and enthusiasm.

Iwobi needs to undergo a long thinking exercise as to how he might help the team or go somewhere else in January.

Likewise I have always been a fan of Sigurdsson and the goals he scores/creates but he has become noticeably slower and more peripheral so could only be considered a sub at best.

I think Gordon deserves a chance and will be hungry to show what he can do. He also carries more goal threat than Bernard or Iwobi.

Delph has shown enough improvement this year to put him on the left of Allan and Doucouré so that my thinking. Over to the professor.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 28/10/2020 at 15:54:42

Hope Mason is fit enough to play RB on Sunday -- remember, he played half of a Championship season there when he was on loan to West Brom last year. Picked up a goal and a few assists as I recall. If both are equally fit, I'd slightly prefer him to Kenny.

Regarding Gbamin, I looked up Odysium online and it's a training center and medical rehab facility. Seems to imply that he's still working on rebuilding himself after the injuries and may not be all that close to returning to full football activities, but maybe I'm reading it wrong. https://www.odysium.com/en/physical-preparation

Thing is, it's not about fitness for Gbamin. It's about capability. There's no doubt he will get his body back into top shape, because he's only 25 and obviously highly motivated. The question is at what level he will be able to perform when fully fit -- will he be as quick, fast and strong as he was before the injuries.

I hope so, but I am not counting on it. The history for players returning to full performance level from either injury is... chancy. The history for a player returning from both does not exist -- I've never heard of any athlete having both in their careers, let alone at the same time.

Robert Tressell
14 Posted 28/10/2020 at 16:35:30
Holgate played right-back and right-wingback at West Brom before coming back and cementing a first-team place. It'll be great to see him back in the side, either as centre-back or right-back. But for the injury he'd be getting the same plaudits as Calvert-Lewin, I expect.

Sounds like Kenny is closest to full fitness so maybe go with him, but bolstering midfield with Delph is a good idea. Gives James and Gordon a bit of freedom to make the play and support Calvert-Lewin.

Bernard Dooley
15 Posted 28/10/2020 at 17:48:12
None of our posters either on the Digne ban reduction thread or this one have considered that Carlo might actually select Delph at left-back rather than Nkounkou for Sunday's game at Newcastle.

I not advocating that choice but Delph has played there for Man City and is of course the more experienced player. However, Nkounkou would give us width and a service to Calvert-Lewin, sadly missing at Southampton.

Ben Godfrey was given the right-back berth on the back of slotting in well against Liverpool, but alas Saints had different plans.

Robert Tressell
16 Posted 28/10/2020 at 18:22:39
Bernard, there has been talk of Delph at left-back. It might happen, as you say. At Man City he did well there but team set-up, abundant quality around him and dominance in possession made his life easier.

I think I'd rather have Nkounkou at left-back with Delph in midfield helping to prevent overloads on that flank. If Delph plays left-back, I'm not convinced we have the right person to help him out.

Kevin Molloy
18 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:12:48
One thing I can't get my head around was how Godfrey looked more exposed against Saints than against Mane. I worry that is cos of motivation, ie, our midfielders running the extra yards in the derby necessary to cover James, but not having the same motivation against Saints once we went a goal down.
Paul Birmingham
19 Posted 28/10/2020 at 20:14:10
Good to have Holgate and Gbamin getting back to match fitness.

For the Toon, I think it's vital that Calvert-Lewin has support and is not isolated like vs Southampton. Playing that formation won't win many matches this season, in my view.

Nkounkou looks a natural athlete and has played well in the Carabao Cup, so I'd start him along with Anthony Gordon, to provide some bite and pace.

Hopefully the transition of play can be better and the team plays with more energy. One result at this stage of the season does define the season, and the Toon, is a great chance to bounce back.

Get the purpose and belief shown in the preceding games for Sunday and Everton can keep the pressure on the rest at the top.

Really hoping Gbamin comes back on track and fully fit as he will be like a new player in the squad. Loads to go for this Sunday and lessons learned by Everton. Toon can be a tough game but, if Everton can keep their shape and play more direct interpassing rather than across and back, then we've a good chance of a good result.

Phillip Warrington
20 Posted 28/10/2020 at 22:26:55
Does anybody know if there is a buy clause in Kean's loan to PSG?
Phil Smith
21 Posted 29/10/2020 at 01:02:47
Jamie (7) la, was that a joke, mate???
Nicholas Howard
22 Posted 29/10/2020 at 07:04:00
Jamie (7),

We aim for European football next season... squad depth is a must.

Like in the Southampton game, a few suspensions and injuries straightaway flattened our play negatively. Furthermore, they are all young and here to stay for a Brighter Everton future.


Dave McDowell
23 Posted 29/10/2020 at 07:28:16
Phillip #20 it was reported that PSG have an option to buy clause for Kean of £18 million.
Dean Johnson
24 Posted 29/10/2020 at 08:10:25
Amazing how different games cause different opinions.
I saw holgate play for West brom at fll back twice and he was awful both times
I don't see this as good news because they are both still error prone children

When can we buy an effin defender who's the finished article?

Sick of buying potential that almost always turns out to be shit. Time will tell on these guys

Martin Berry
25 Posted 29/10/2020 at 08:23:43
Its a long season and getting Holgate and Branthwaite back is excellent news.
Hopefully Gbamin will be back in Nov/Dec along with Tosun to balster the squad, then we will see where we go from there..
Christopher Timmins
26 Posted 29/10/2020 at 11:50:42
After the weekend horror show it's good to see some of the injured players on the road back to fitness. Will need everyone on board in what will be a very
demanding season.

Looking forward to seeing Nkounkou playing on Sunday as he has looked something special.

Robert Tressell
27 Posted 29/10/2020 at 12:01:12
Kevin @ 18, I think Godfrey was more exposed against Saints because we had no Richarlison. Saints had nothing to worry about on our left flank so could overload the right.

This is how the big clubs get by. They have an attack so potent the opposition is forced on the back foot - and cannot risk commiting numbers forward.

Against us, it was no risk whatsoever for Saints to commit players forward.

Richarlison is a total game changer for us.

Minik Hansen
28 Posted 29/10/2020 at 17:14:27
Why not put Nkounkou and Gordon in the starting eleven, with Allan and Doucoure in right mindset covering ground, there's good players around them to excel - it could get risky yes, but we need to think of something w/o Richarlison.
Dave Williams
29 Posted 30/10/2020 at 09:40:53
I agree with Robert- play the much improved Delph left of centre midfield to provide experienced cover for Nkounkou and Gordon. He has the nous to organise them and will be far more solid than Siggy or Gomes.
Kenny or Mason at RB, whoever is in better shape and start with a 4-5-1 to avoid being overrun like we were at Saints.
Jerome Shields
30 Posted 01/11/2020 at 13:29:41
Sigurdsson on because he is the only dead ball specialist available.
Dave Abrahams
31 Posted 02/11/2020 at 17:10:30
Just a quick one to Michael Kenrick, I hope you are okay, you seem to be missing from ToffeeWeb since Saturday.
Will Mabon
32 Posted 02/11/2020 at 17:17:44
Dave, he's been in the pub with John.
Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 02/11/2020 at 17:28:23
Will (32), be nice to think that, just argueing over who’s getting the next pint in!!
Will Mabon
34 Posted 02/11/2020 at 17:32:35
Dave :)

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