New Everton attacker Oumar Niasse is in contention to make his debut in Saturday’s Premier League match at home to West Brom.
Manager Roberto Martinez has been impressed with what he has seen from the 25-year-old in training since his £13.5 million deadline-day arrival from Lokomotiv Moscow.
As a result, Martinez confirmed Niasse – the third most expensive signing in Everton history – was now an option to play at the weekend.
Asked if the match against Tony Pulis’ men would be when the Senegal international would make his Toffees bow, the Spaniard told the club’s website: “It could be. I think he has had a really good period of work.
“Oumar is settling in really well. He is desperate to help the team, to get to know how the team plays and develop good partnerships with other players – that is very positive.
“He had one full session with the team before the Stoke game, but I thought it was probably a little bit too early.
“This week has been completely different, he has had a really good working period and all he needs is a bit of good solid work before he can compete in the team. The Premier League is a competition that you have to be ready in order to have an impact.
“It is important that Oumar gets the time and the understanding he needs but, at the same time, I have seen he is desperate to be involved.
“He has not played competitive football since the beginning of December and that is going to take a little bit of time. I am really pleased and very happy in the way that he has trained in the last two days.
“It was such a difficult window for him personally – moving from Moscow to Liverpool is a big contrast in everything it brings to your work and lifestyle. Now he is well settled, back to normal, relaxed and ready to kick on.”
In-form Everton have won their last three matches in all competitions by a 3-0 scoreline.
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