Yerry Mina: Carlo Ancelotti confirms Everton defender facing spell on the sidelines

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Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that Yerry Mina is facing an extended spell on the sidelines with the injury sustained in Everton’s 3-1 defeat to Manchester City earlier this month.

The Colombian centre-half was taken off after just 18 minutes having picked up a calf issue, forcing Mina to sit out last weekend’s 2-0 Merseyside derby win away to rivals Liverpool.

Mina had returned to the Toffees’ starting line-up for the visit of Pep Guardiola’s Citizens to Goodison Park after sitting out his side’s previous two Premier League fixtures, marking the 26-year-old’s 22nd start of the season so far across all competitions.

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Ancelotti opted to draft a five-man defence at Anfield in Mina’s absence, with Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey partnering Michael Keane while Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne occupied the full-back spots.

The Italian tactician has confirmed that Everton will again be without Mina at home to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Southampton on Monday night, along with long-term absentee Jean-Philippe Gbamin due to his Achilles injury.

“Gbamin is progressing well. We don’t know exactly when he can come back to train with the team – the same with Yerry Mina, also,” Ancelotti said.

“I think Yerry will be out for at least two more weeks.”

But Everton will be able to call on both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Allan to start on Monday, after the striker and midfielder returned to the Blues’ matchday squad against Liverpool.

“Allan and Dominic are okay. They are training regularly,” the ex-Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach added.  “They are available to play, for sure, from the beginning.”

Calvert-Lewin featured for the final 30 minutes against Liverpool following two games out with a hamstring injury, while Allan took a seat on the bench as he waits for his first action since limping off against Leicester on December 16.

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Mina’s absence at home to Southampton on Monday night will present Godfrey with another chance to prove that Everton are not at a disadvantage without the Colombian, following the £20m summer signing from Norwich City’s performance at Liverpool.

Godfrey earned rave reviews for his exploits at Anfield, where the £77,000-per-week ace was given only his seventh Premier League outing of the season at centre-half, following eight games at left-back and twice being fielded as the right-sided full-back.

“He’s really stepped up to the plate. We all knew he was a good player when Everton signed him and had high hopes, but he’s exceeded those expectations by the level of his performance, both in central defence and also in full-backs as well,” ex-Everton defender David Weir told Football Pass on Monday.

“He seems to get Everton. You can tell the fans, although they are not at the games, you can tell they like him. They like his work ethic. They like his hunger to play. He’s got a real intensity about the way he defends.”

Godfrey and Holgate both offered one successful tackle against Jurgen Klopp’s defending Premier League champions, but only the former Canaries talent boasted a 100% record at Anfield, per WhoScored.

Holgate also offered fewer clearances (2) than Godfrey (8) and Keane (13) – who was dribbled past in his only attempted tackle – while proving more wasteful on the ball with a 57% pass success rate from 28 attempts to his teammates’ respective 71% from 24 and 76% from 25 records.

Godfrey’s match rating of 7.1 out of 10 against Liverpool was also above his average 6.65 for the season when fielded at centre-back, the lowest among Ancelotti’s options with Holgate scoring a 7.01, Keane a 6.94 and Mina a 6.89.

Ancelotti will now hope to see Godfrey match his performance for the visit of Southampton to Goodison Park, where Everton have lost their last three Premier League fixtures and are winless in 2021.