REUTERS - Everton manager Ronald Koeman says new signing Morgan Schneiderlin will go straight into Everton’s squad for Sunday’s Premier League home game against Manchester City, and he would like to sign one or two more players in January.
France international Schneiderlin, 27, played under Koeman at Southampton before moving to Manchester United in 2015, and was reunited with his former boss at Everton on Thursday after falling down the pecking order at United under Jose Mourinho.
“He’s that midfield player that I like... (He) can play as a holding midfielder, attacking midfielder, he’s aggressive, he brings qualities to Everton. That’s why we signed him,” Koeman told a news conference on Friday.
“His fitness is okay. He hasn’t really had game time, and to improve that you need to play, you need minutes. Tomorrow we will take that decision, but he will be involved in the squad for Sunday.”
Winger Ademola Lookman, signed from Charlton Athletic earlier this month, will also make the squad, with Koeman anticipating a busy transfer window where he will also look to offload a few players.
”In some positions we need more balance,“ he added. ”We like to be stronger, we like to improve. If we can do that with the players that we have then we will, but if we can sign better players then we will do it. We have till the end of January.
“Most of the players know the situation. Some players now in the squad don’t have that future for Everton.”
One of them appears to be Senegalese striker Oumar Niasse, who has joined Hull City on loan till the end of the season.
Koeman, whose team are seventh in the table, 12 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, said Sunday’s game had greater significance for opposition manager Pep Guardiola, whose team are seven points behind league leaders Chelsea.
Failure to get a result at Everton would likely spell the end of City’s title challenge, Koeman said, adding that his team would do their best to make life difficult for Guardiola’s side.
”Everybody knows the distance between them and Chelsea,“ he added. ”It’s a lot of points, and if they don’t get a good result then maybe yes, it’s over.
“We know we need to be very good. If we go face to face on Sunday and play with that aggression, we can make it very difficult for them.”
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Trevelyan