Frank Lampard admitted that Everton’s injury situation could force the club’s hand in the transfer market as he revealed that Ben Godfrey had suffered a suspected broken fibula in the Premier League defeat to Chelsea.
Jorginho’s first-half penalty was enough to earn Thomas Tuchel’s Blues a 1-0 win at Goodison Park on Saturday, ending their run of four consecutive league defeats at the ground.
While Chelsea were indebted to Edouard Mendy for keeping a clean sheet with fine saves from James Tarkowski, Demarai Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure, Lampard’s side were hampered by injury problems on the opening day of the new campaign.
Having already been without a recognized striker through Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s injury and Salomon Rondon’s suspension, the Toffees saw Godfrey leave the pitch on a stretcher after a nasty collision with Kai Havertz, before Yerry Mina was also forced off after 70 minutes.
After watching Everton lose their first league game for the first time since 2011-12 (against Queens Park Rangers), Lampard lamented their selection problems and revealed that Godfrey’s injury is believed to be serious.
“It makes it difficult, you know? Ben gets that injury, we think it’s a little break in his bone, the fibula,” he told Sky Sports.
“We’ll see how long it lasts and Yerry, it’s an ankle injury that we don’t know much about at the moment.
“We’ve had a bit here; it’s hard to put your finger on those freak injuries. I think Ben’s foot got caught in the grass, Yerry’s I didn’t see. They’re not muscle injuries, they’re freak injuries, so we’ve got to make sure the squad is strong enough to handle these things.”
Asked if the setbacks would affect Everton’s recruitment plans, Lampard added: “Maybe, maybe not. We have centre-backs at the club but we are looking at different areas where we know what we want to do.
“We’re not going to declare them now, but I think everyone can feel that there’s movement and that we’re trying to move in the right direction.
“My main focus today is the performance of the boys who were on the pitch. You saw the fans at the end of the game, they reacted to what the players did today.
“It’s a game out of 38 and we didn’t get the point that I felt we probably could have got, but we’ve got to have confidence in not only what the players did out there today, but how we’re going to do it. Looking forward, because we are looking to bring in a few players to help the squad.”
One area where Everton are certainly targeting reinforcements is in attack, with Calvert-Lewin expected to miss up to six weeks after picking up a knee injury in training.
Lampard insists replacing Calvert-Lewin, who scored 16 goals in 33 Premier League appearances during the 2020-21 campaign, is crucial after Everton squandered chances to take a point against Chelsea.
“We’re looking at it, because Dominic is out three days before the first game and you can’t replace him, Salomon is suspended… We have to look at it to make sure we not only have sufficient players to play, but players to bring in,” he added.
“We have nine subs now, you look at Chelsea’s bench and you understand the difference.
“I think our overall performance deserves us to put the ball in the net once or twice and of course we’ll be looking for those types of players.”