London (AFP) – Everton manager Rafael Benitez has put his faith in Dominic Calvert-Lewin and new signings in January as the Merseysiders look to turn their season around.
The England striker made his comeback after over four months out with a thigh injury in a 3-2 home defeat by Brighton on Sunday where he missed a penalty.
Prior to the game at Goodison Park, new £17 million ($23 million, 20 million euros) left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko was introduced to fans.
British newspaper reports have also linked Benitez with a move for Glasgow Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson as he looks to shore up the defence of an Everton side languishing in 15th place in the 20-strong Premier League.
Monday’s match was only the eighth time this season that have Everton scored more than once in a league fixture, with five of those occasions coming in their opening six games and the 24-year-old Calvert-Lewin scoring in the first three before his injury.
“Hopefully Dominic coming back will give a little bit more hope to everyone,” said Spanish boss Benitez after Everton’s eighth defeat in 12 league games.
“And if we are bringing players back, and signing new players, it will bring this desire that everyone is expecting.”
Prior to kick-off, Brighton had won just once in 13 matches but victory saw the Seagulls soar into eighth place.
Goals have been hard to come by for the south coast side, but a double from midfielder Alexis Mac Allister at Goodison Park was an encouraging sign for Brighton manager Graham Potter.
“He has the quality. He can contribute to the scoring phase for us,” said Potter of Mac Allister. “So can others. That is something we are trying to improve as it’s too easy to blame the strikers.”
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