Everton manager Ronald Koeman will be without midfielder James McCarthy for three weeks after the midfielder underwent surgery on a groin injury.
McCarthy missed Everton’s 1-0 win over Stoke City and the Republic of Ireland international will not be available for his side’s trip to Sunderland in the Premier League on Monday.
Koeman has received an injury boost ahead of the visit to the Stadium of Light, however, as McCarthy’s international colleague Seamus Coleman, who is yet to feature for Everton this season, came through a 2-2 draw with Serbia on Tuesday.
“Seamus is okay,” Koeman told reporters on Thursday. “It was a little bit tricky as he was out for four weeks and he had some training.
“It’s tricky for the player as his position is between the club and the national team and he came back with no problems. He is fit to start. McCarthy will be out for three weeks as he had groin surgery last Friday.”
Although Koeman conceded it was “disappointing” not to sign Moussa Sissoko on deadline day, with the France international instead switching from Newcastle United to Tottenham, he declared himself “happy” with Everton’s transfer window.
“I’m very happy with my squad,” Koeman said. “Disappointed with our last target but overall happy because the club did a good job in the transfer window and is stronger than it was, in my opinion, and now we need to show that.
“I’m happy about the signings and about the squad and we have to keep going, keep fighting with good spirit. Training is different to what they’re used to and that takes time. But what I saw this morning was very positive and there was a lot of energy.”
Although a late move for Sissoko fell through, Everton signed Enner Valencia on a season-long loan deal from West Ham and Koeman stressed the versatility of the striker will give him more options in attack.
“I can’t say anything about his situation at West Ham but we were interested in him and he was interested in coming to Everton,” the Dutchman said. “He can play like a nine or a 10 and they are good options to have.
“Enner Valencia will bring more competition. We now have seven forwards for those front three positions, which we need.
“Everton needs to be a team that fights for Europe and we have a squad to do that. The squad is okay but we need to continue. Our challenge is to reach Europe and if we do that, we will be able to attract more players.”