Six Everton players handed unexpected opportunity as return nears
Certain Everton players will be keen to grab their opportunity in the future with both handsby Adam Jones
Six Everton players handed unexpected opportunity as Premier League return nears
When football does get underway once more, Everton will find themselves in an interesting position.
12th in the Premier League table as things stand with nine games left to play, the prospect of European football next term might seem a little unlikely - but is certainly still possible.
There's little doubt that's what will be on Carlo Ancelotti's mind regardless. He's a born winner, and will want to get the Blues as high up the table as he possibly can.
And, among the Everton squad, there's a few players who will have their eyes firmly set on the next few games as well.
These six stars in particular could have a perfect opportunity from now until the end of the term to either make a statement or expand on form they have previously shown this term.
It might be an unexpected opportunity, but a valuable one nonetheless.
While Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have grabbed a lot of the limelight for their performances under both Ancelotti and Duncan Ferguson, it's been an interesting time for Moise Kean.
Opportunities have presented themselves, and the striker has certainly impressed on a number of those occasions.
The Newcastle game at Goodison Park in particular, even aside from his goal, was a fantastic display - full of the qualities Evertonians want to see from their young talent.
Everyone knew the Italian would be one for the future, and it's clear to see he has progressed as an Everton player as his time on the pitch has grown.
In the last few matches of the season, it would be a perfect time to show off more of those talents, put to bed those transfer rumours and give everyone another timely reminder of why there is so much excitement about this youngster's talent.
This season hasn't gone the way Fabian Delph might have imagined.
The signing of the midfielder was considered a shrewd move by many in the summer. Here was someone who could provide versatility, experience and a winning mentality to the Everton squad.
And there have certainly been occasions where those qualities have been on display, especially towards the start of the 30-year-old's time at Goodison Park.
However, it hasn't all been perfect - with a particular low point coming back in January when getting involved in an argument with Blues supporters following a defeat to Liverpool.
Injuries have also hampered Delph's progress this term but, with a few important games still remaining, he could find his experience crucial to Ancelotti as Everton set their sights on potential European football next season.
A lot of eyes will be on Everton's right-back position when football does return.
At this stage, it's almost impossible to predict who will line up in that area whenever the Blues eventually kick off the 2020/21 campaign - Seamus Coleman, Djibril Sidibe, Jonjoe Kenny or even a new signing are all viable options.
With the on-loan Monaco man, the situation is an interesting one. Everton have to decide whether to take up the option to sign him or not.
The right-back is another who has gone through spells of differing form throughout this term for the Blues.
It's worth remember that at one stage, the signing of the France international seemed a no-brainer given the input he was having in the final third in particular.
This could be his last chance to really show off those talents on a consistent basis again.
Having been Everton's joint top scorer last season, Gylfi Sigurdsson has struggled much more this term.
More recently of course, the Iceland international has had to adapt to differing positions in the starting line-up as Ancelotti has switched the side's formation.
No longer able to take up his preferred No. 10 role, the 30-year-old has been either pushed back into central midfield or occasionally used out wide on the left.
Finding a place in this new system has not been easy for Sigurdsson, but you can only presume his performances will improve with more experience in these roles.
With a little uncertainty over the central midfield position in particular at Goodison Park heading into the summer, the next nine games should give the Iceland international to stake his claim to be an important player under Ancelotti.
Another area of interest when considering Everton's potential transfer dealings in the near future is centre-back.
The Blues have done relatively well with just three senior options this term, but it's understood that another would be needed to bolster that position.
Michael Keane, following a resurgence in the side last term, has perhaps fallen a little further down the pecking order this time around - thanks in no small part to the brilliant form of Mason Holgate.
The England international has still been solid on numerous occasions though, and could certainly be handed opportunities in the remaining matches of the campaign.
If he can show his qualities once again, he could give Ancelotti some interesting considerations ahead of an important summer.
The same applies to right midfield.
Everton were known to be in the market for someone in that position before the recent coronavirus crisis, so it will be interesting to see if that's still the case in a much-changed transfer landscape.
Regardless, it leaves Theo Walcott in place as the only out-and-out right midfielder currently at Goodison Park.
As with many on this list, the winger has shown flashes of good form this season - not least in scoring a late winner against Watford and producing a fantastic cross to set up Bernard's goal against Crystal Palace.
But these last nine games should again be seen as an opportunity to really show what he can do.