Everton manager Sam Allardyce believes his side are "crying out" for injured winger Yannick Bolasie to return to action as quickly as possible.

The former Crystal Palace man could feature when the Toffees host Swansea City on Monday night (18 December), after spending 12 months on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.

The Congo international ruptured his ligament against Manchester United almost exactly a year ago and his absence has deprived Everton of some much-needed pace in the final third.

"The team has been crying out for what he offers," Allardyce was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

"Yannick is blessed with dynamic movements and pace that cause defenders great concern. He probably occupies two players when he's at his best because he's such a danger in possession.

"He's a player who has come from the lower leagues and built his way up to the top level of football. I always think those players have a great desire to achieve that."

The 28-year-old became Everton's then record signing when he moved to Goodison Park for £25m in the summer of 2016, scoring once and providing four assists in 16 appearances in all competitions before his injury.

Allardyce, who has previously lamented his side's lack of speed and penetration in the attacking third, added Bolasie was at the right club to establish himself as a top player in the Premier League once he recovered full fitness.

"There's a great opportunity for him to stay at the top level for as long as possible," he explained.

"Hopefully he will make a big contribution to our team when he comes back."

Bolasie made two appearances for the club's Under 23 side last week, but Allardyce warned his return to action will have to be gradual, hinting his main concern was to provide the winger with enough minutes to steadily regain his fitness.

"At the very best it will be from the subs' bench and the minutes he gets will have to be the right thing for him and the team as well, depending on how the game is going," added the former England manager.

"We can't expect too much. He will be a little rusty but if he does hit his level straight away that would be absolutely fantastic. He's a big player to have back."

Everton will be looking to extend their good run of form when bottom-of-the-table Swansea travel to Goodison Park. The Toffees are unbeaten in the Premier League since Allardyce was appointed as manager at the end of last month, winning three of their four games and securing a point against Liverpool at Anfield.

The recent run of results has dragged the Merseysiders up to 10th in the table, while Swansea are four points away from safety and without an away win since the end of August.