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Roberto Martinez ready to display his Everton 'diamonds' in public

By Eleanor Crooks

Roberto Martinez will showcase the latest "diamonds" to step off Everton's production line in tonight's Europa League clash with Krasnodar.

With the Toffees already guaranteed to top Group H and Russians Krasnodar eliminated, Martinez has the rare opportunity to shuffle his pack completely.

He revealed Joel Robles, Christian Atsu, Steven Pienaar, Arouna Kone, Bryan Oviedo, Conor McAleny, Antolin Alcaraz, Tyias Browning and Luke Garbutt will all start along with two unnamed youngsters.

England Under-18 captain Ryan Ledson and fellow 17-year-old Kieran Dowell appear to be the leading contenders, while Martinez is known to also think highly of Liam Walsh, another midfielder.

The Everton boss is keeping the names under wraps to "give them a nice eight hours of sleep" but is excited that the fans will get a glimpse of players who could follow in the footsteps of Wayne Rooney and Ross Barkley.

He said: "We're going to have a couple of youngsters that are really exciting. It's going to be really exciting for us as a club to show another two diamonds of our development system."

Everton have fared better in Europe this season than neighbours Liverpool, who will join them in the Europa League following their elimination from the Champions League. That opened up the possibility of the teams meeting later in the competition - sides from the same country are kept apart in the last 32.

"It would be phenomenal," said Martinez. "I'm looking forward to when we meet them in the league. Whatever comes, I'm sure it will be welcomed by everyone."

Martinez insisted there is "no danger whatsoever" of Kevin Mirallas leaving despite speculation linking him with Liverpool.

Belfast Telegraph


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