The Everton boss took to his pre-match press conference to confirm that Nathan Patterson is in contention to start this weekend.
Lampard told the media: “Patterson is back in the squad for this weekend. It’s a really good [selection] headache. It’s exactly what I wanted.”
“Nathan has been really, really good this season until he got his unfortunate injury. That allowed Seamus to come in, find fitness and performance and I think that hit the peak last weekend.”
“It’s a really healthy competition between two lads – one who has been here a long time and one who is coming through.”
There is no doubt that it is good news for Everton that Patterson will be available to return to the XI, as the talented young full-back has been one of the Toffees’ best players of the season so far.
According to SofaScore, Patterson is the fourth highest-rated player in the whole squad – despite not playing the last five games due to an ankle injury sustained whilst on international duty with Scotland.
Over seven league appearances, the 21-year-old has averaged 1.3 interceptions, four tackles and 2.7 clearances per game, as well as winning the majority of his duels (63%) and creating one big chance.
The Scottish right-back’s absence has definitely been felt in the team when you consider Everton’s results with and without Patterson, before the player’s injury the Toffees were unbeaten in their last five outings in the top-flight.
Following the return of the Premier League and the sidelining of the Everton sensation, the team won against Southampton and then went on to lose three games on the bounce, proving that he has clearly established himself as an important player to the team.
With that being said, it will be interesting to see how Lampard deals with the selection headache he has caused himself and whether Coleman will keep his place after a fantastic 3-0 victory last weekend, or lose his spot to Patterson away from home on Saturday.
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