Belfast Telegraph

Joel Robles' role in doubt as Everton seek a steady hand

By Staff Reporter

Everton manager Roberto Martinez's targeting of a long-term goalkeeping solution in January would appear to put the future of Joel Robles in doubt.

The 24-year-old Spaniard is currently deputising for Tim Howard, who is sidelined for six weeks with a calf injury, and while the Toffees boss will look for additional cover while the transfer window is open he is not considering a quick fix.

Both experienced United States international Howard and Robles have three years remaining on their contracts, with the former signing a two-year extension last April and remaining first choice even though Martinez signed Robles when he took over at Goodison Park in the summer of 2013.

Robles potentially has a few weeks to convince his manager he can do a job for him but Martinez is already looking at alternatives.

"Tim Howard is going to be out for six or seven weeks so we are exposed in that department as there is only Joel in the squad with any experience," he said.

"The other two young players (Jindrich Stanek and Russell Griffiths) have terrific potential but it would be unfair to put them in that situation.

"We have to be relying on experience and that is why we will look into that situation.

"There are a couple of options I feel could fit really well but I wouldn't just bring in anyone who stops the development of a youngster. I would rather make it a long-term signing. I don't think short-term would be a solution for us now."

Robles will continue in goal against West Ham tonight, an FA Cup tie in which Martinez admits his side need to put in a performance to silence the doubters.

"We have all been disappointed. We now have three games at home and it is really important we support each other," added Martinez.

"We are here to win games and build something for the future."

FA Cup: Everton v West Ham, Goodison Park, 7.45pm (BT Sport)

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