FA Cup Special: Weekly focus on Stevenage’s fourth round oppponents Everton

Sylvain Distin

Sylvain Distin - Credit: Archant

It’s been a busy week at Goodison Park, with a multi-million pound signing and departure, as well injury and contract developments concerning some of the club’s biggest players.

Everton travel to Hertfordshire in just over a week’s time to face Stevenage in the FA Cup fourth round.

England left-back Leighton Baines looks set to sign a new deal with the Merseyside club, ending speculation about a possible link-up with old manager David Moyes at Manchester United.

Baines has become one of the club’s key players in recent years, with many tipping the former Wigan man to displace Chelsea’s Ashley Cole as the country’s left back at this summer’s World Cup.

Veteran centre-back Sylvain Distain returned to first-team training yesterday [Thursday] after missing three Premier League matches with a hamstring strain.

The 37-year-old’s return is a welcome boost for the Toffees, who have been warm weather training in Tenerife this week.

On Saturday, Everton confirmed the signing of Republic of Ireland international Aiden McGeady from Spartak Moscow.

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The 27-year-old’s contract with the Russian club was set to expire at the end of the season, and it had been widely reported that ex-Celtic man would sign a pre-contract agreement with the Toffees before joining the club in the summer.

Everton have pushed through the deal earlier though and landed McGeady for an undisclosed fee, with the winger signing a four-and-half year deal.

There was also a big-name departure at Goodison this week as Nikica Jelavic left the club for West Bromwich Albion.

The Croat has had limited opportunities under Martinez this season after impressing in his first 18 months at the club.

The club revealed on Tuesday that rising star Ross Barkley could be out for up to six weeks after suffering a broken toe in the club’s 4-0 FA Cup third round win over QPR.

The 20-year-old has been influential for his side so far this season, earning his first call-up to the England squad back in August.

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