Darren Bent has insisted a lack of squad depth is going to cost Everton “massively” after a 1-0 defeat to Leeds United.
The former Spurs and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, bemoaned Carlo Ancelotti’s need to play players out of position after several injury blows at Goodison Park.
With the likes of Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne ruled out due to their respective problems against the Whites, Ancelotti chose to start Alex Iwobi and Tom Davies as wing-backs.
A second-half goal from Raphinha was enough to seal victory for the visitors and condemn Ancelotti and his men to their fourth defeat in five games.
Bent has insisted that the first-choice starting XI at Everton is good enough to challenge for a top-four spot but that the lack of quality behind is going to hurt their chances significantly.
“One thing that Everton are lacking at the minute is squad depth,” Bent told Football Insider.
“If they lose one or two of their starters, we’ve already seen they’re not the same team. This is what I’m saying, this is what’s going to cost them.
“Start of the season, with all his players ready to go, they were brilliant, first three games of the season they were very, very good. The fact that when they lost Richarlison, when Rodriguez was out, when these players are out, they really, really struggled.
“I think that they need to get some squad depth because that’s what’s going to cost them. If they can have their one to eleven all season, then I think they’re there or thereabout with the top four. The fact is, when they lose players, that’s when the drop off is massive.”
Digne, who is Everton’s first-choice left-back, is set to undergo ankle surgery on Monday which will keep him out of action for a couple of months.
In other Everton news, the Toffees have been tipped to battle Leeds for the signing of 23-year-old.