Six talking points from Everton pre-season training as duo return from injury problems

Everton are back in training ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League season.
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Everton have reported back for pre-season training today.

Frank Lampard's troops returned to their Finch Farm training ground ahead of the 2022-23 season kicking off in a month's time.

The Toffees raise the curtain on their campaign when they welcome Chelsea to Goodison Park on Saturday 6 August.

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But there will be plenty of work to be done before then as Everton aim to avoid another Premier League relegation battle.

We take a look at the main talking points and what we've spotted from training.

Tarkowski arrives

James Tarkowski celebrates. Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty ImagesJames Tarkowski celebrates. Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images
James Tarkowski celebrates. Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

It was a transfer everyone expected.

And finally on Saturday, Everton unveiled James Tarkowski as their first signing of the summer.

The centre-back has penned a four-year deal at Goodison Park and most concur it's sound business on a free transfer from Burnley.

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Tarkowski's a cast-iron Premier League performer with two England caps to his name.

Having missed just eight games in the past four years, he's expected to be at the fulcrum of Lampard's plans.

And Tarkowski indeed has checked in for his first day and met the majority of his new team-mates.

Mykolenko's early return

Vitalii Mykolenko celebrates scoring for Everton against Leicester. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty ImagesVitalii Mykolenko celebrates scoring for Everton against Leicester. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Vitalii Mykolenko celebrates scoring for Everton against Leicester. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Vitalii Mykolenko is preparing for his first full season at Goodison.

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The left-back arrived from Dynamo Kyiv in January and made eye-catching progress once he settled down.

After playing 16 times in the second half of the season, helping Everton avoid the drop, Mykolenko then reported for international duty with Ukraine.

They played a total of five matches - two World Cup qualifiers and three Nations League fixtures.

Mykolenko featured in all of those games and started all but one.

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Yet the defender is already back on Merseyside preparing for 2022-23

Those sort of commitment levels won't go unnoticed by Lampard and his backroom staff.

Balls out

In years gone by, the opening week or so of pre-season would be all about fitness.

Managers would work their players tirelessly to ensure they were back into top shape before even thinking about getting a ball out of the bag.

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Not in the modern game, though. On Instagram, we've seen various members of the Everton squad keeping their fitness ticking over during the off-season. Fitness programmes must be adhered to.

So it's no surprise that Lampard got the ball out on the first day back.

Mina recovery

Yerry Mina had his well-documented injury problems last term.

In total, the centre-back managed to make just 13 appearances in the Premier League.

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Mina suffered two separate setbacks after Lampard took over as manager - in wins against Newcastle and Leicester City.

The Colombia international, as a result, missed the final four games of the season.

Still, Mina's calf issue has now cleared up. He was snapped with a beaming smile on his face entering Finch Farm and joined his team-mates training on the grass.

With a year left on his deal, there's still debate around whether the Blues should cash in on the ex-Barcelona defender this summer.

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There’s even a case to be made that Lampard should not rely on Mina as his first-choice centre-back despite his unquestionable talent.

But if the 27-year-old can go through pre-season unscathed, it may sway Lampard's opinion.

Godfrey back

Ben Godfrey also had problems of his own last season.

The England international also was unable to play his part in the business end of the campaign after pulling up in the warm-up before the Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool on 24 April.

No doubt Godfrey will be hoping for an uninterupted campaign this time around. Perhaps he may even have hopes of breaking into Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.

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The ex-Norwich defender joined the rest of Everton’s troops on the grass during the session outside, which augurs well.

Youngsters involvement

In his managerial career, Lampard has been praised for the impact he's had on several youngsters.

From Lampard's time at Chelsea and Derby, he was credited in particular for helping Mason Mount rise to stardom.

Evertonians will be hoping that the boss can have a similar influence at Goodison, with several promising prospects reporting back for duty.

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Ellis Simms is back after his successful stint at Hearts during the second half of last term. The Blues may well opt to loan him again.

Lewis Dobbin is another who could be sent out to garner first-team experience. There is a lot of excitement around the forward among fans.

Meanwhile, Lampard has previously heaped praise on Isaac Price. The midfielder was handed his Premier League debut in the final-day loss at Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Reece Welch - a defender - made his first-team debut in the FA Cup win over Boreham Wood in March.

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And there are also high hopes among supporters for Tyler Onyango. The midfielder made three outings last term, all in the Premier League.

The 19-year-old did not feature under Lampard, though, and underwent an ankle operation in April.

All are likely to play fairly prominent roles during pre-season.