Everton manager Sam Allardyce has decided to keep peripheral figures Sandro Ramirez and James McCarthy at Goodison Park until the end of the season after the pair having impressed him during a friendly match held at Finch Farm earlier this week.
Sandro and McCarthy have both been peripheral figures for the Toffees this season, with the latter only featuring once having struggled with knee and hamstring injuries. Sandro, who was introduced by Allardyce as a late substitute during the Toffees' 3-1 win over Swansea City on Monday (18 December), is said to have designs on a return to Spain, with Malaga manager Michel Gonzalez recently suggesting that he wishes to go back to La Rosaleda.
But Allardyce, who recently confirmed that signing a striker is his top priority during the January transfer window, is not prepared to let the former Barcelona youth graduate or McCarthy leave Everton just yet, according to the Daily Mail.
The former England manager is currently dealing with a squad that is vastly overloaded in some areas of the pitch but inexplicably scarce in others. Central midfield is a position that boasts depth and quality, but Allardyce sees value in keeping McCarthy at Everton and out of the clutches of his old club Crystal Palace, who have been interested in the Irishman for the past 18 months.
Sandro faces less competition than McCarthy for a place in Everton's starting line-up, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Wayne Rooney and Oumar Niasse the only recognised strikers available to Allardyce. The Spaniard began the season in the Toffees' first eleven but has not started a Premier League match for the Merseysiders since September, with his only start since the 3-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur coming in the 5-1 mauling by Atalanta in the Europa League last month.
Both Sandro and McCarthy are fit and available for the visit of Chelsea on Saturday (23 December), and the pair will no doubt hope to be afforded opportunities to prove their worth during the gruelling festive period, with Allardyce et al finalising their plans for the January window.