Sean Dyche revealed that Dominic Calvert-Lewin is training ‘with a smile on his face’ as an appearance for Everton under-21s hasn’t been ruled out.
The striker was omitted from the Toffees’ match-day squad for Saturday’s 1-0 defeat of Brentford. That’s despite Calvert-Lewin returning to training last week as he battles back from a hamstring injury.
Calvert-Lewin has made only 12 outings this term and been plagued by issues for the past 18 months.
Everton next face Chelsea in the Premier League in which Calvert-Lewin could return after missing the past six games - although Dyche warned his side cannot ‘overthink’ that scenario.
The Goodison Park chief said: “We will see where he is at but all I can say at the moment is, having spoken to him, he is back. It looks like he is training with a smile on his face, which is what we want, because all of that is part of the making of a footballer’s mentality. We will see where that takes us.
“But I have been impressed with Dimi [Demarai Gray] working hard, I have been impressed with Neal [Maupay] working hard. Simmsy [Ellis Simms] is still learning the game, of course, and the team’s mentality not to overthink that because everybody keeps asking me. I’m looking at the team, not just one player. It is a team situation.”