All the latest news, views and transfer rumours from Goodison Park...
Everton started the new season with an entertaining 2-2 draw at newly-promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday, but fans may wonder what might have been had midfielder Ross Barkley played. The England international, 20, has been sidelined with a knee ligament injury, and manager Roberto Martinez says he's unsure how long his star midfielder will be out for.
"I don't know where the figure of five months came from but obviously the extent of the injury is a little unsure at the moment because we don't know how the next two weeks are going to develop," said Martinez. "It's a medial ligament injury and we know that Ross, in terms of the power and the strength that he has in his body, he could easily react to treatment a lot better than other players.
"The length that Ross will be out is a little uncertain at the moment and it could be anything between the eight weeks that we mentioned or a little further," added the Spaniard.
Even with Barkley's absence, Everton still have a number of options to choose from in midfield. A particular strength for the Toffees is down the left hand side, where South African star Steven Pienaar has been a key player for some time, but his injury hit campaign last season diminished his impact. Now having returned, left back Leighton Baines has praised Pienaar, lauding their partnership down the left flank.
"I always enjoy playing with Steven - I think anyone would," Baines said. "He's always where you need him to be at the moment you need him to be there. You can always trust him in any situation, I think he plays on instinct and you can always feel like you know what he's going to do next. It's always easier when you have got that relationship with someone."
On the transfer front, manager Martinez says that he will still consider making new signings before the transfer deadline, but believes that the squad he already has at his disposal is good enough for now.
"When you have the window open, making more signings is always something you are going to look into and consider," said martinez. "But I am more focused on the group of players we have being fully fit and fully sharp. And then if anything comes along then we will come into it. But we've done the majority of business we intended to do so from this point of view we are quite happy."