Everton fear midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin may not play again this season after his latest injury setback, Football Insider understands.
The 24-year-old has undergone two thigh operations after damaging a muscle in training just two games into his career at the club.
An Everton source has told Football Insider that the club’s initial hopes that he would have a big part to play in the final months of the campaign are now looking optimistic.
The Ivory Coast international is in the early stages of rehabilitation from his second bout of surgery at the start of this month.
Manager Carlo Ancelotti has claimed he is on an eight-week recovery plan but Everton sources claim there is reduced expectation he will reach the levels of fitness needed to return to the team before the season is out.
Gbamin’s first season in English football is now threatening to be a total write-off following his £25millon move from Mainz last summer.
The defensive midfielder made only two appearances under ex-boss Marco Silva last August before damaging a quadriceps muscle in training.
He returned to light training but complications in his recovery meant surgery was required in October.
Gbamin was then pencilled in for a January return but complained of discomfort in the scar left by the operation he underwent.
It was decided he would go under the knife again but Everton’s plans to make him a key man in their midfield this season have been shattered.
Following the sale of Idrissa Gana Gueye last summer, Silva had hoped to develop a central midfield partnership between Gbamin and Andres Gomes
In other Everton news, it can be REVEALED that the club are in advanced talks to agree blockbuster new deal.