Everton manager Frank Lampard has confirmed striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be out for up to six weeks with a knee injury.

The 25-year-old suffered the injury in training and will now be forced to miss the early part of the new Premier League season.

He spent much of last term on the sidelines but returned for the final four league games, with the England international scoring two crucial goals to help keep his club in the top flight.

But he will now be back in the Finch Farm treatment room, as he looks to get himself back to the player who scored 16 goals in 33 Premier League appearances in the 2020-21 campaign.

Everton boss Lampard was frustrated with the injury to his main striker but conceded that these things can happen.

"Losing a player like Dominic, his quality, in the week going into the first game is obviously going to affect you," the former Chelsea midfielder told reporters.

"I think we're probably looking at around six weeks for the injury. It comes with the territory of training at this level.

"We'll have to work around it, other players will have to step up and hopefully that six weeks passes relatively quickly and we'll get Dominic back."

"Through pre-season we were constantly commenting on how good he looked, strong, we were really pleased so it's a knock for everybody, particularly for him."

Calvert-Lewin's absence leaves Lampard with a selection headache for Saturday's Premier League opener against Chelsea, with a real lack of striking options available to him.

Last season's top goalscorer Richarlison has departed for Tottenham Hotspur this window in a £60million deal, while Salomon Rondon is suspended after being sent off against Brentford at the back end of the 2021-22 campaign.

Lampard suggested that it will be Dele Alli to play up top against Chelsea and did not rule out the possibility of a striker being brought in before the end of the window.

When questioned on any potential business, the 44-year old replied: "I wouldn't speak about other targets individually, but in that area of the pitch [attack], we are obviously aware.

"We lost Richarlison who was versatile across the front, we've brought in Dwight [McNeil] but we're well aware of areas where we want to strengthen.

"A lot of clubs will be making moves in the first few weeks of the season. I don't agree with it but it is what it is.

"Some clubs probably keep their cards close to their chest because of that and wait to see what happens at the end of the window. We know where we want to get to.

"In terms of last season, we finished where we were for a reason, we lost Richarlison who's a big player for us, so we have to assess once the window shuts."

 

The Premier League is back, with another fascinating season in store.

The 2021-22 title race went right to the wire, with Manchester City pipping Liverpool at the last, while the picture at the bottom was similarly dramatic as Leeds United survived.

The dominant top two have strengthened – including City pinching Leeds talisman Kalvin Phillips – and the league again looks so tough to call at both ends of the table.

Thankfully, Stats Perform AI is able to do that. It has predicted the outcome of the coming campaign, estimating the likelihood of teams finishing in each position informed by their expected results in each match.

These are calculated using betting odds and Stats Perform's team rankings – based on historical and recent team performances – and it has thrown up some interesting results, with some surprises at the summit.

LIVERPOOL SET TO LEAPFROG CITY

There was only a point between champions City and runners-up Liverpool last season, and Stats Perform AI expects the coming campaign to be similarly close.

But the Reds are the favourites for the title, with a 49.72 per cent chance of being crowned champions to City's 47.03 per cent.

Such is the gulf between the top two and the rest that Tottenham, backed as their nearest challengers, have only a 1.81 per shot at ending their 62-year wait under former Premier League winner Antonio Conte.

Chelsea, the club with whom Conte claimed the title, are given a 1.1 per cent hope.

Only seven teams are given any chance at all of celebrating come May – the fewest across all of Europe's top five leagues – with Manchester United (0.18 per cent) and Arsenal (0.13 per cent) joined by a resurgent Newcastle United (0.03 per cent).

Last champions in 1927, Newcastle are closing on a century-long drought, so even with their big spending, a one in 3,000 shot sounds about right.

UNITED AND ARSENAL FALL SHORT

Stats Perform AI does not only fancy Spurs and Chelsea as the top two's nearest contenders but also as their fellow Champions League qualifiers.

City (99.33 per cent) and Liverpool (99.28 per cent) are shoo-ins for top-four finishes, and Tottenham (70.07 per cent) and Chelsea (62.46 per cent) are also in strong positions to repeat last season's leading quartet.

That would mean Manchester United (25.56 per cent) and Arsenal (22.0 per cent) missing out once more, with Newcastle (5.03 per cent) again next.

However, despite West Ham being given no hope of a title tilt and longer odds of Champions League qualification, they are ranked to repeat their seventh-placed finish ahead of Newcastle.

Every team in the division at least has the opportunity to dream of a top-four finish, even if Bournemouth (0.07 per cent) might instead be better off preparing for the reality of a relegation scrap.

TALL ORDER FOR PROMOTED TRIO

Bournemouth are not the only promoted team set to find life tough. In fact, Stats Perform AI predicts all three will go straight back down.

This has only happened once previously in Premier League history – in 1997-98 – but the prediction model considers the trio clear favourites to be relegated.

Bournemouth (45.03 per cent) have scarcely improved their squad, while Nottingham Forest have done the opposite and invested heavily (44.47 per cent); neither approach is expected to succeed, nor are Fulham (43.83 per cent), promoted as champions.

It may not be as clear-cut as this suggests, however, with Southampton (34.23 per cent), Brentford (31.85) and Leeds (31.24) also forecast to endure testing seasons.

Everton (15.06 per cent), like Brentford and Leeds, have lost key players, but the data is backing the Toffees to improve on last year's dismal campaign.

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be absent from his side's Premier League opener against Chelsea after suffering a knee injury in training.

The England international spent much of last season on the sidelines but returned to the squad for the final four league games, in which he scored two goals to help keep Everton in the top flight.

But the 25-year-old will now be back in the treatment room at Finch Farm after sustaining an injury to his knee on Tuesday.

Everton will be keen for Calvert-Lewin to return as soon as possible, in the hope he can return to the form that saw him score 16 goals in 33 league appearances in the 2020-21 campaign.

Toffees boss Frank Lampard told reporters: "We are assessing Dom's injury. No timeframe has been confirmed and we are pretty sure what level it is, so we are hopeful it is not long-term.

"We'll miss him for Chelsea. He was looking in great physical condition and was training really well. It was a freak injury in training, which does happen.

"It's a shame but we have to find the solutions to keep ourselves strong without Dominic before he returns."

Timo Werner has only managed 23 goals in his first two seasons with Chelsea after joining from Leipzig in mid-2020.

The new Blues owners are open to allowing Werner, who signed on a five-year contract, to depart on loan.

The 26-year-old scored 95 goals in 159 appearances with Leipzig from 2016 to 2020.

TOP STORY – LEIPZIG LEAD RACE FOR CHELSEA'S WERNER

Leipzig are leading the race to sign Chelsea striker Werner ahead of Juventus, claims Fabrizio Romano.

The Bundesliga club met with Chelsea on Sunday, proposing a swap deal for Werner, who is Leipzig's main target.

Juventus and Newcastle United have also shown an interest in the Germany international. 

ROUND-UP

Barcelona are considering a move for Leipzig defender Angelino should they miss out on Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso, claims Diario Sport.

Everton could make a move for forgotten Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi, according to talkSPORT. The Toffees lost Richarlison to Tottenham last month and will turn to Batshuayi, who scored 14 goals on loan at Besiktas last season.

– Portuguese forward Diogo Jota is set to be rewarded for his strong second season at Anfield, with Liverpool to offer him a lucrative pay rise as part of a new deal, despite having three years to run on his contract, claims The Telegraph.

Napoli and Chelsea are in talks on a loan deal for Spanish goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to Sky Sports.

– Football Insider reports that Leicester City have informed Newcastle that midfielder James Maddison will cost them £60million as they circle for his signature.

– Leicester City are set to farewell goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel,  who is on the cusp of joining French Ligue 1 club Nice, reports the Mail.

Real Madrid are the latest side to enquire about the availability of 20-year-old Chelsea striker Armando Broja, but the Premier League club are maintaining that he is not for sale.

The Albania international has been the subject of significant interest after a successful loan spell at Southampton last season, netting nine goals in 38 appearances.

Chelsea reportedly turned down a £30million offer from West Ham for Broja, and although Thomas Tuchel is said to be a fan, Madrid are eager to land the youngster.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA'S RISING ALBANIAN DRAWS REAL MADRID'S INTEREST

Since Romelu Lukaku departed from Chelsea on a season-long loan to Inter, questions have been asked about what the London club's plans are to bolster their attack.

The Evening Standard's report claims Carlo Ancelotti is on the hunt for young strikers to find a potential successor to 35-year-old Karim Benzema, although with Timo Werner potentially on his way back to RB Leipzig, Chelsea may have simply decided that Broja must stay.

West Ham have also reportedly not been driven away yet and remain interested, as do Everton and Newcastle United.

 

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– According to Bild, Bayern Munich full-back Benjamin Pavard would be willing to join Chelsea if they make a serious offer.

– The Telegraph is reporting RB Salzburg want £55m for 19-year-old Slovenian striker Benjamin Sesko, who is a Manchester United target, according to Manchester Evening News.

– Sky Sports Italia claims Juventus would like to acquire Barcelona forward Memphis Depay on loan, however the Catalan giants wants to make it a permanent deal.

– 90min say Everton are in advanced discussions with Chelsea to bring Ross Barkley back to the club, and they also have interest in Michy Batshuayi and Billy Gilmour.

– According to Talksport, West Ham are willing to meet the £17.5m release clause for 25-year-old Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet.

Tottenham have reportedly entered the race for 23-year-old Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, with Juventus also heavily linked to the Italy international.

Zaniolo missed the entire 2020-21 season after suffering the second torn ACL of his career, but he made a successful return this past campaign, totalling 42 club appearances, including five goals and four assists in 10 Conference League fixtures.

The man with nine senior international caps has been linked with Juventus for some time now, but with the club yet to make any breakthrough, they could face competition from the Premier League.

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM LOOK TO SWOOP IN FOR JUVENTUS TARGET

According to Tuttosport, Juventus and Roma have been holding discussions about different constructions of a deal for Zaniolo, including an iteration that would make it a loan this season with an option to buy after. The report mentions his price tag is believed to be between £30million and £40million.

With Tottenham set to play Roma in a friendly on Saturday, it is said to be an opportunity for the two clubs to sit down and discuss the possibility of a move.

Reports have claimed Spurs are willing to include Giovani Lo Celso in their bid, with the English club said to value the Argentinian at £17million.


ROUND-UP

– L'Equipe is reporting that Marseille are investigating a potential move for Inter's Alexis Sanchez.

– Fabrizio Romano says Chelsea have yet to receive an acceptable offer for 20-year-old striker Armando Broja after turning down a £30million bid from West Ham, and that he may be competing for first-team minutes this season.

– Fabrizio Romano is also reporting that Everton have approached Paris Saint-Germain about bringing 32-year-old Idrissa Gueye back to the club after he left in 2019.

– According to 90min, West Ham are in talks with Eintracht Frankfurt about 29-year-old wing-back Filip Kostic after having their first bid turned down.

Ajax, Newcastle United and Bayer Leverkusen are tracking 18-year-old forward Giovani, playing for Palmeiras in the Brazilian top division, according to ESPN Brasil.

Dwight McNeil vowed to "get my stats up" under manager Frank Lampard after the winger joined Everton from Burnley.

The Toffees completed their second transfer raid of the close season on their former Premier League relegation rivals as 22-year-old McNeil followed James Tarkowski from Turf Moor to Goodison Park.

Burnley's slide into the Championship has seen a flood of senior stars leave the club, as Vincent Kompany becomes the permanent successor to manager Sean Dyche and looks to shape them for a shot at an immediate return to the top flight.

England Under-21 international McNeil leaves after 147 appearances for Burnley, including their brief Europa League campaign of 2018-19, and has signed a five-year deal, with the deal reportedly worth up to £19million.

The winger is the third signing of the summer for Everton, after Tarkowski and Portuguese defender Ruben Vinagre, and believes he will be able to flourish under Lampard's watch.

"It is an amazing feeling to sign," McNeil told Everton's official website. "When I heard about Everton's interest I wanted to get it done straight away because of the club and how good the team is.

"I feel playing under a manager like Frank Lampard, he will help me to get my stats up – and that is what I want to do and improve my game. I want to help the team as best as I can."

Last season saw McNeil create 47 chances in the Premier League, a team-high at Burnley, but he only assisted for one goal. His total of chances created was also higher than any Everton player in the competition, with Demarai Gray leading their list after forging 42 opportunities.

McNeil's arrival comes after Everton were unable to fix personal terms to bring Clarets team-mate Maxwel Cornet to the club, though the latter is expected to seek an exit from Burnley ahead of the new campaign too.

Ruben Vinagre is relishing the chance to work under "football legend" Frank Lampard and coach Ashley Cole at Everton after completing a season-long loan move from Sporting CP.

The 23-year-old, who previously spent two full seasons in the Premier League with Wolves, becomes Everton's second signing of the window following the arrival of James Tarkowski.

Vinagre only joined Sporting on a permanent basis earlier this month, but the loan agreement between the Portuguese club and Everton is reported to contain an option for the Toffees to purchase the defender outright next year.

He can operate as a left-back or left wing-back and will provide competition for Vitalii Mykolenko this coming campaign, with Niels Nkounkou another option in that position for Lampard.

Everton confirmed the loan signing on their official website on Wednesday, and the former Portugal Under-21 international – who is in line to make his debut in Friday's friendly against Dynamo Kyiv – is eager to get going.

"It's a dream come true to join a big club like Everton," he told Everton TV. "The opportunity to work with very good players and a very good coach in Frank Lampard made me excited to sign.

"The manager is a football legend. Everybody knows him and the opportunity to work with and learn from him and someone like Ashley Cole – one of football's best left-backs – is very big for me.

"Kevin [Thelwell, director of football] was important, too, because he knows me very well from when we worked together at Wolves.

"He explained to me about Everton's proud history and the qualities you need here because it's a very big club and you have to give everything for the supporters."

Vinagre featured 18 times during his time on loan with Sporting last season and did not taste defeat in any of his domestic league or cup appearances.

As well as making 69 appearances for Wolves in all competitions, the full-back has also previously played for Monaco, Olympiacos and Famalicao.

 

Dele Alli ended a six-month wait for his first Everton goals and vowed to keep "fighting" to prove himself to boss Frank Lampard.

The former Tottenham and England star moved to Goodison Park in January, but struggled to make an impact at the sharp end of the pitch.

He made 11 appearances for the Toffees last season but only one start, and will be hoping to reset and win over manager Lampard in the new campaign.

A double from Alli in the 4-2 win at Blackpool on Sunday might count for little in the long run, given the game was a friendly, but for the 26-year-old Alli it marked a breakthrough moment.

"I got two goals, so I'm happy," said Alli.

He insisted Everton's progress in pre-season should not be judged on "individual moments" and was more about "how we're building as a team".

A close scrape with relegation last season has been followed by Everton losing Brazil forward Richarlison to Tottenham, and a recent 4-0 defeat to Minnesota United was a worrying result on paper.

There have been no attacking additions of note, and that may shift the goalscoring onus onto the likes of Alli. He was once a proven finisher with Spurs, hitting 22 goals across all competitions in the 2016-17 season, but in recent years that clinical edge has been blunted.

Everton start their Premier League campaign against Chelsea on August 6, so this is a timely return to scoring ways for Alli, who knows he is far from assured of a place in the team to face Thomas Tuchel's side.

He says that applies across the board, though.

"To achieve anything, we need to be fighting for places," Alli said, quoted on Everton's website. "No one's place is guaranteed. We have to work hard in every game and training session. Everything we do, we need to apply ourselves.

"When you're at a club like Everton, it's not for the manager to say that places are up for grabs."

Everton are to offer free tickets to Ukrainian refugees on Merseyside for their pre-season friendly with Dynamo Kyiv later this month, the club has announced.

The encounter, part of the Ukrainian Premier League outfit's Match for Peace initiative, was already set to deliver proceeds towards humanitarian charities supporting the nation's citizens following their invasion by Russia.

The Toffees, who signed Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo in January, and made a £500,000 contribution to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in March, will now go a step further, with displaced natives set to be allowed free entry.

The club are working with councils around the Merseyside area to ensure invitations are handed out for the match, which will be played on July 29, to those housed through the government’s Homes For Ukraine scheme.

"We are committed to doing all we can to help those people impacted by the shocking war in Ukraine," manager Frank Lampard stated.

"This game provides a spotlight on that fundraising activity and by raising funds together, we can help those affected by the ongoing conflict."

Bayern Munich have reportedly enquired with Tottenham about the availability of star England striker Harry Kane – and it is said that the Premier League side have not made him untouchable.

The Bundesliga champions are on the hunt for a replacement up front after losing club legend Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona, and the report from BILD claims they view the 28-year-old as a viable option long-term.

Kane has two years remaining on his contract, but if negotiations over an extension begin to trend in a direction that indicates he may leave, the club could have no choice but to cash in before potentially losing him for free.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN VIEW KANE AS IDEAL LEWANDWOSKI REPLACEMENT

Kane has emerged as England's best striker in recent years, racking up 50 international goals from 73 senior caps, while also putting together eight straight seasons with at least 24 goals in club competitions.

Tottenham's number nine would undoubtedly command a monstrous transfer fee – likely upwards of £100million – but with Antonio Conte's side competing in the Champions League this season, and with aspirations of conquering the Premier League, they may decide they prefer the player over the money.

What Bayern's interest does is increase Kane's leverage for his contract negotiations, with it now clear the top teams in the world value him as one of the game's great goalscorers.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Mail is reporting that Arsenal are offering Bukayo Saka a contract that would double his salary in an effort to fend off interest from rival clubs, including Manchester City.

– According to The Athletic, Chelsea and Tottenham have both made enquiries about Newcastle United forward Allan Saint-Maximin.

West Ham have agreed to a £30.5m deal for in-demand 23-year-old Sassuolo striker Gianluca Scamacca, according to The Guardian, after Paris Saint-Germain also signalled their interest in the Italian recently.

– Free agent Andrea Belotti desires a move to the Premier League now that his seven-year stint at Torino has come to an end, with The Sun reporting Newcastle United, Everton and West Ham are potential landing spots.  

– Express is reporting Leeds United are reaching advanced stages in their £17m chase of 20-year-old Paris Saint-Germain forward Arnaud Kalimuendo.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite will work with Ruud van Nistelrooy after being sent on loan to PSV for the 2022-23 season.

Branthwaite moved to Goodison Park from Carlisle United, aged just 17, and made his Premier League debut against Wolves in July 2020.

The centre-back proved the unlikely hero against Chelsea the following season, scoring a header in a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge to mark his first Premier League goal.

Branthwaite spent the second half of the 2020-21 season on loan at Championship side Blackburn Rovers, before returning to make eight appearances in the most recent campaign, including four Premier League starts.

Frank Lampard's side staved off Premier League relegation fears last season before bringing in James Tarkowski from Burnley this transfer window, further reducing the chances of first-team minutes for Branthwaite at Goodison Park.

The 20-year-old will likely get his first taste of Champions League action after being loaned to PSV, who qualified for the qualifying stages of Europe's premier club competition after finishing second in Eredivisie.

"Because Olivier Boscagli cannot play at least until the winter break, we wanted to add a quality left-footed central defender on a loan basis; Jarrad meets all those requirements," PSV director of football affairs John de Jong said. 

"He is a player with a lot of height and he is physically strong. He has constructive qualities and is good at one-on-one situations. 

"It is an advantage that Marcel [Brands, PSV director of football] knows Jarrad well from his time at Everton. That's why we knew it was possible to loan him for a season."

Van Nistelrooy's PSV open their Eredivisie campaign at home to newly promoted Emmen on August 6.

Mikel Arteta hailed Gabriel Jesus's "chaotic" nature after the forward continued his impressive start for new side Arsenal in Saturday's pre-season win over Everton.

The Brazil international, recently signed from Manchester City in a reported £45million deal, made it three goals in two outings as Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners in Baltimore.

Jesus, who scored his first two goals for Arsenal in last week's 5-3 win over Nurnberg, also assisted Bukayo Saka for the Gunners' second goal against Everton.

Arteta has been impressed by the 25-year-old's instant impact and in particular his ability to disrupt opposition defences.

"He creates chaos, he creates uncertainty and he's always on your shoulder," Arteta said. 

"He's always there to nick the ball off you, he's always in front of the goal. He's a real threat and this is what we need.

"The moment we give the ball away he is straight away active and putting pressure and getting his team behind him. 

"He has a lot of leadership skills. I can see straight away what he's doing with the boys and he's the type of guy that we want.

"He looks really sharp, really dynamic. He's got a really good understanding with his team-mates straight away. 

"They are looking for him, he's generating chances, good connections around specific spaces we want to exploit with him especially, and yeah, we're really happy."

Excluding penalties, former Palmeiras ace Jesus averaged 0.81 goal involvements per 90 minutes between signing for City in 2016 and his departure this month.

Of players to have played at least 5,000 minutes over that period, only former City colleague Sergio Aguero (0.91) and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (0.88) boast a better return.

Jesus was often used in a wide position at City, but Arteta has so far used the versatile forward through the middle.

"He's very versatile, but obviously, the way we would like to develop him is in that position," Arteta said when asked if he sees Jesus as a number nine.

"In relation to what the opponent does in certain games, we are going to have to use him in different positions. He's open to that and he knows it's part of his strength as well."

William Saliba was given his first run-out of the close season against Everton, the centre-back featuring for 71 minutes before being replaced by Pablo Mari.

He completed more passes (53) than any other player on the field and Arteta confirmed the 21-year-old – who has spent three seasons out on loan – is part of his plans.

"He is in the plans, yes," Arteta said. "We cannot guarantee first-team football to anybody in this team – you can ask that question to anybody.

"What we guarantee is that the ones we really see and think are going to take us to the next level, they're going to be playing a lot of minutes.

"He's a proper talent and he's shown in the last year what he can do. But in football it's about what you do the next day.

"What everybody did three months ago or a month ago, it doesn't really matter. It's about what you do tomorrow and he's going to have the chance to play."

Farhad Moshiri has insisted Everton are not for sale, amid reports that several parties are interested in taking over the Premier League club.

Everton finished 16th last season, their lowest Premier League placing since the 2003-04 campaign, when they came 17th.

Frank Lampard – appointed midway through the season after Rafael Benitez was sacked – managed to secure safety with a game to spare, thanks to a 3-2 comeback win over Crystal Palace at Goodison Park.

However, Everton's reckless spending during the Moshiri era, which began in 2016 and has seen six permanent managers lose their jobs prior to Lampard taking charge, means they were on the brink of breaching the Premier League's profit and sustainability rules.

As such, a large sale was required ahead of the new campaign, with Richarlison sold for a reported £50million, rising to £60m including add-ons, to Tottenham at the end of June.

With a new stadium on Liverpool's waterfront under construction, widespread reports over the off-season have claimed that multiple parties are interested in purchasing Everton.

The most prominent, an American consortium fronted by former Chelsea and Manchester United executive Peter Kenyon, was said to be close to agreeing a deal, with reports even going as far as to say the group were confident of buying the club ahead of the start of Everton's pre-season tour of the United States.

That tour is now under way and with no deal having been completed, Moshiri has now insisted the club has not been up for sale, though he acknowledged he is hoping to find additional investors.

In a statement issued on Everton's official website, he said: "There has been much talk of investment in our football club recently – even takeovers – but I want to clarify that there is no 'for sale' sign currently hanging outside Everton Football Club.

"It will always be pragmatic to explore all potential investment opportunities and, as I have been transparent about, I am focused on completing the financing for our fantastic new stadium as well as strengthening the playing squad and that might include a minority investment. That will continue. But I want to reassure all of you that Everton Football Club is not for sale."

While Richarlison has been sold and Fabian Delph, Jonjoe Kenny, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Cenk Tosun have all left on free transfers, with loan deals for Donny van de Beek and Anwar El Ghazi expiring, only James Tarkowski – on a free from relegated Burnley – has joined Everton so far.

But Moshiri is adamant the squad will be added to, despite Everton's financial constraints.

"My commitment to the club remains strong and focused and [director of football] Kevin Thelwell and the chairman [Bill Kenwright] are currently working hard to bring in new players to improve Frank Lampard’s squad," the statement continued.

"There will be new signings and I would ask supporters to judge us at the end of the transfer window – not now – and to listen to official club channels for information."

Antonio Conte heaped praise on the versatility and quality of Tottenham signing Richarlison after his first appearance for the Premier League side.

Spurs are in South Korea to start their pre-season, where they defeated a select XI from the K-League 6-3 on Wednesday.

Conte has already made five new additions to his side for the upcoming campaign, though Richarlison was the only one of those to feature at the Seoul World Cup Stadium.

The Brazil international played 77 minutes before his removal, with attacking partners Harry Kane and home favourite Son Heung-min stealing the show with two goals each.

Richarlison, who scored (10) and assisted (five) more Premier League goals than any other Everton player in the 2021-22 season, operated across the front three in his first showing.

Dejan Kulusevski, Bryan Gil and Lucas Moura are all competing with Richarlison for the final spot in attack for Conte, who hailed numerous features of his new arrival's debut.

"Today I have seen a lot of positive things about Richy," Conte told reporters.

"In the first half he played as a number nine and in the second half he played on the right and in behind the striker. He can play in all three positions.

"I think he is strong physically and a good personality, good character, good quality. For Richy he is working and we are working on the tactical aspects with him because he has to go into our idea.

"At the same time we have to work on the physical aspects for him to be fit. But for sure he is a player that gives me important positions up front.

"He's a player that is a good player, strong and very good to protect the ball and attack the space. I'm very happy that we signed him."

Fellow arrivals Yves Bissouma and back-up goalkeeper Fraser Forster missed the pre-season opener due to COVID-19, while Clement Lenglet has not travelled and Ivan Perisic is yet to be fit enough.

Conte assures former Inter star Perisic will soon be available, though, and explained regular starters Kulusevski and Ben Davies were absent as they build-up their fitness.

"For Ben it was the second training session and he needed to recover and run and do the same training as the players did in the last two days. It was the same for Kulusevski," the Italian added.

"We had a problem with COVID, with Bissouma and Fraser because the test was positive. For this reason they weren't here with us. Yes, [they are isolating].

"Perisic is working very well. He's very close. I think tomorrow he could have a part of the training session with us.

"Honestly we are satisfied because his recovery is going very fast and we are happy about this and when we come back in London he will start to have some of the training session with us."

Tottenham face Sevilla at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on Saturday before clashing with Rangers and Roma ahead of their Premier League opener at home to Southampton on August 6.

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