By Noel Whelan

31st Oct, 2020 | 8:00am

'Massive' - Everton 28-yr-old tipped for first PL start of season v Newcastle by pundit

Noel Whelan has tipped Bernard to make his first Premier League start of the season for Everton against Newcastle United on Sunday.

The former Premier League striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has suggested the 28-year-old will take the place of Alex Iwobi as the Toffees cope with the “massive loss” of Richarlison.

The Nigeria international filled in for the Brazilian star, who is serving a three-match ban, against Southampton but was replaced at half-time as Bernard came on for his first league appearance of the season.

The former Shakhtar Donetsk winger has been involved in every matchday squad in the Premier League this term but was left unused for the first five games.

His only starts have come in the League Cup wins over Salford City and Fleetwood Town.

However, Whelan believes that Richarlison’s absence and Iwobi’s poor performance against Southampton could see Bernard step into the starting line-up against Newcastle.

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Whelan told Football Insider: “Richarlison for me is one that is a massive loss. Iwobi didn’t take his opportunity so Bernard might come in, I think, on that side, linking up play.

“Iwobi, for me, has done nothing since he’s come to Everton and he’s not pushed Richarlison or any of the front three, to be honest with you. If he starts the game, I’ll be very, very surprised, I think it might be an opportunity for somebody else.

“Richarlison is going to be a massive miss.” 

Bernard has a total of 69 appearances under his belt for the Toffees since his move to Goodison Park in 2018.

Young winger Anthony Gordon, who also came off the bench against Southampton, is another option for Carlo Ancelotti on the wing.

In other Everton news, a ‘Shocking’ senior player may not be given another chance by Ancelotti after ‘Awful’ performances.