By Russell Edge
Everton have been dealt a huge injury blow with centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori set to be out of action for up to nine months.
The Toffees have stated on their official website that the 26-year old defender has had to undergo surgery on a serious knee injury sustained while on international duty with Argentina:
They also report that the operation will rule him out of action for between six and nine months as a result of his rehabilitation, meaning it will be 2018 before fans see him turning out for the first team again.
While not necessarily a first team star for the Toffees, it will still come as a huge blow to Ronald Koeman, with the Argentinian just one of five senior centre-backs at his disposal, and as such would have been at least a fringe player for the upcoming campaign.
Instead, the Dutch manager now has just Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka, Mason Holgate and new arrival Michael Keane to slot in at the heart of defence.
Funes Mori made 26 appearances across all competitions for the club last season, before the injury in March saw him miss their final nine games of the Premier League season.
Since arriving at Goodison Park from River Plate back in 2015, he has gone on to make 63 appearances for the Toffees, scoring five goals.
He has also earned 19 caps for Argentina since his debut in a 2-0 victory over El Salvador back in 2015, and has a solitary strike to his name for his country.
In other Everton news, reports of this star’s demands are “untrue”.