Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out a departure for winger Theo Walcott this summer, although the Italian did admit that the winger faces a difficult task to force his way into the Toffees new look side.
Everton have made a perfect start to the 2020/21 campaign, winning all five of their games in both the Premier League and Carabao Cup so far this season and have impressed following the addition of the likes of James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure into the starting XI.
Such high profile recruitment has, however, restricted the game time of a number of the first-team squad, with former Arsenal man Walcott one of the notable casualties in the early stages of the season.
The 31-year-old arrived at Goodison Park back in 2018 for £20 million, but like a lot of other high-profile Toffees signings over recent years the pacey attacker has flattered to deceive, scoring seven goals and providing five assists in 62 top-flight appearances.
This season the former England international has been overlooked in favour of Rodriguez, the Colombian starting every Premier League game so far on the right of midfield with Walcott restricted to a solitary Carabao Cup appearance this term thus far.
Such limited game time has only fueled suggestions that Walcott could be heading for the exit door come the end of the transfer window, yet the Everton boss put the player’s absence down to the competition for places in the squad and appeared apologetic for having to leave out the always ‘professional’ wide-man.
‘I don’t think so. The problem is the competition is really high in this moment,’ Ancelotti told the press ahead of his sides EFL fourth round clash with West Ham.
‘Sometimes it can happen that a player, like Theo, is not involved.
‘Unfortunately, this is the decision I have to take and I am not absolutely happy to take this kind of decision, to leave out a player like Walcott.
‘A player who is professional, serious in training and always ready.’
Everton face the Hammers on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, before a Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.