After almost a year out, Yannick Bolasie had his first training with Everton senior team on Wednesday, and David Unsworth is delighted as the winger is close to a return.
Bolasie last played in December – in the Merseysiders’ English Premier League clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where he suffered a serious knee injury.
And with the former Crystal Palace winger gradually returning to fitness, coach Unsworth believes his qualities – especially his pace – is something a struggling Everton need.
“Yannick trained with us this morning for the first time,” said Unsworth ahead of Atalanta clash.
“He’s had a couple of sessions with the Under-23s but we had a light session this morning and it was great to see him out there.
“We’re just gradually integrating him back into the first team set-up. He’s a top player, a proven Premier League player and he’s got great pace – something that we need.
“He scores goals, creates goals and he’s a big player for us, so to get him back, hopefully sooner rather than later and alongside James McCarthy, Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley – to get those proven Premier League players back into the team and into the squad will be a big plus for us.”
Everton take on Atalanta in a Uefa Europa League encounter but their exit from the competition have already been confirmed as they sit at the bottom of Group E with only a point from four games.
Their overall performances in the English Premier League is not better either having won just three, losing six of 12 matches played so far.