Everton manager Frank Lampard plans to expose some of the club’s younger players to Carabao Cup football but he is unlikely to throw them in at the deep end against Premier League opponents Bournemouth.
A number of Toffees players are due a rest, with four – James Tarkowski, Vitalii Mykolenko, Alex Iwobi and Demarai Gray – having started all 14 top-flight matches so far and featured for virtually every minute of them.
The cup competition will probably see the likes of defenders Michael Keane, Mason Holgate, Ruben Vinagre and the long-time injured Yerry Mina, midfielders Abdoulaye Doucoure, Tom Davies and James Garner, and strikers Neal Maupay and Salomon Rondon given important game time.
Lampard is still awaiting updates on injuries to Dominic Calvert-Lewin and midfield pair Amadou Onana and Idrissa Gana Gueye but they would have been unlikely to feature anyway.
In the 1-0 victory over Fleetwood last time out the manager started Reece Welch and gave debuts to fellow 19-year-old Stanley Mills and Lewis Warrington, 20.
Mills, who joined from Leeds’ academy aged 14 and is the son of former Manchester City defender Danny, impressed on the club’s pre-season tour to the United States and has been scoring regularly for the under-21s.
“My intention is to get some young lads on the bench for the game to have the feeling of being part of it and to see if we can get them on the pitch, so I would like to think we will have two, three, four on the bench but I can’t guarantee that until we have that count up,” said Lampard.
“Stanley is doing really well and scoring regularly, playing well and developing really well so it is nice to give players like that, that are doing well the opportunity when they come around.
“Maybe, the biggest thing will always be the individual and how good they are and what level of player or attitude they have.
“Stan is a good point because he has a great approach and attitude. It probably comes from the footballing background of his dad, who I know well.
“He is a very strong runner, he has an eye for goal, he is a good player, so yes he can be an option.
“But he is still very young, we all know how hard it is at a young age to break through and have an immediate impact regularly so it will maybe be phased in for him.
“If he keeps progressing in the right way then I will see him as that (an attacking option) even more.”