Everton boss Sam Allardyce has admitted that he is struggling to find an a left back that is up to the clubs standards.Allardyce has been forced to utilise Cuco Martina as a makeshift left back in the absence of Leighton Baines, who has been out of action since November. He is keen to bring in reinforcements to that department during this transfer window, but has admitted that he is struggling to find an adequate candidate:
“If you could find me one I suppose it would possibly be a position we would like to try and fill.
“There’s no doubt that Cuco is doing a fantastic job and yet he, myself and everyone knows it’s not his strong position but at the moment we are finding it difficult to fill that position.
“So we do need a left footed player, not just at left-back, we probably need three left-footed players in the squad but we’re not going to get that this season.
“But certainly the balance of the squad will have to be addressed next season with more players capable of having a strong left foot.”
The Blues have been linked with a move for Patrick van Aanholt having previously worked with the Dutchman at Sunderland and Crystal Palace, as well as Manchester United’s Luke Shaw, although Jose Mourinho has recently described him as one of the best left backs around, making him not for sale.
They have also been linked with Bayern Munich’s Juan Bernat.
Allardyce also admitted that while Leighton Baines does not require surgery, they will have to be careful with managing his recovery:
“We’ve ruled out surgery because the surgeon says he doesn’t need it,” Allardyce said.
“He even said he doesn’t need any injections so we just need to monitor that situation.
“And, again, when Leighton comes back from what is a considerably lengthy injury it’s like Seamus – when do we play him and when don’t we?
“Yannick Bolasie was never going to be Yannick Bolasie when he first got back in the team. We might have to wait a bit longer.
“James McCarthy, who’s done brilliant because we’ve had this long catalogue of injuries, but touch wood and he’s performing to his best like Yannick but it’s not his peak best because of the situation he found himself in before he got back fit again.
“That will be the same with Leighton so we have to be a little bit patient and the only way we can get a little bit of patience is for the lads to turn around the results situation and that makes life easier for us all.
“So results are what it’s all about and what we need to get on Saturday and it gives all those players I mentioned a little bit more time, the new ones time to settle in, and the ones who have been injured for a long time to get back fit and get in the squad.”