EVERTON have been given a double boost with the news that exciting youngsters Gerard Deulofeu and Seamus Coleman are in line for a return to action at Tottenham today this lunchtime. With striker Romelu Lukaku still sidelined by the ankle injury he received in the Merseyside derby, manager Roberto Martinez needs the extra attacking options that both Deulofeu and Coleman will add.
Deulofeu, on loan from Barcelona, is a small lad who is blessed with electric pace and the wonderful ability, and desire, to run at opponents. His direct style caused Liverpool all sorts of problems when he came off the bench in the thrilling 3-3 draw at Goodison Park in October, the first time I saw him. The kid frightened Liverpool that day and he went on to do the same to several other teams before injuring a hamstring in the 4-1 win against Fulham. That was 10 games ago, games in which Deulofeu’s pace and directness would have been a big help to the Blues. The additional positive news about Deulofeu is that there are hints that his loan period might be extended into next season. I hope that’s the case, for this lad has all the attributes to make him a darling of the Goodison fans.
Irishman Coleman has already earned a place in the hearts of the Goodison faithful. He has also been sorely missed while out of action, again with hamstring trouble. Coleman was on the bench against Aston Villa last Saturday and is now poised to step back into the side as one of the most improved raiding right-backs in the Premier League. I first saw Coleman a couple of years ago when he came off the bench, coincidentally against Tottenham, Everton’s opponents today, and ran riot, changing the course of that match. Since then, he has become a regular in the team, a player who has noticeably improved the defensive side of his game, while also weighing in with the occasional goal. If recently injured Steven Pienaar continues to redevelop his telepathic partnership with left-back Leighton Baines and if Deulofeu and Coleman are fit to add their talents to those of in-form Kevin Mirallas, the Blues may have sufficient threat to torment Tottenham, even in the continued absence of Lukaku.