- Raphael Benitez will miss five key players in Everton's Premier League opener against Southampton at Goodison park
- The stars are in isolation over COVID-19 related issues according to the new Toffees boss during his prematch conference
- James Rodriguez, Moise Kean, Andre Gomes, and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are among the players affected
Raphael Benitez has been thrown into confusion as five of his key players have been ruled out of their Premier League opener against Southampton due to COVID-19 related issues.
The new Toffees boss opened up on the difficulties he is facing ahead of his side's opener on home turf on Saturday, August 14 during his prematch conference.
What Rafa Benitez said during pre-match conference
The former Liverpool and Chelsea manager admitted to Everton fans that he spoke with the Colombian star about not featuring in the game. He said:
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"I had my conversation with him at the beginning and he knows my idea. But obviously, now he is not available so it is not an issue for tomorrow."
Moise Kean, Andre Gomes, and Jean-Philippe Gbamin are the other stars who will not be available for selection for tomorrow's game. Benitez will now have to make do with the players available for the game.
The Spaniard was appointed the new boss of the Merseyside outfit earlier this summer despite his affiliation with Liverpool. He replaces Carlo Ancelotti who re-joined La Liga side Real Madrid.
When did Everton appoint Rafael Benitez new manager?
Legit.ng earlier reported that Champions League-winning manager Rafa Benitez has been appointed as the new boss of Everton football club until the summer of 2024.
The Spanish-born tactician will replace Carlo Ancelotti at the Goodison Park on a three-year deal following the Italian's re-appointment as Real Madrid boss earlier this month.
Benitez's experience in the Premier League is probably one of the qualities that landed him the job having already managed Liverpool, Chelsea, and most recently Newcastle United in his career.