Marco Silva believes winger Bernard is ready to make his full Everton debut against Arsenal following an impressive substitute appearance against West Ham last weekend.
The Brazilian’s display after coming off the bench just before half-time at Goodison Park was one of the few high points in a disappointing performance.
Bernard is still working his way up to full match fitness following a summer move from Shakhtar Donetsk, but Silva could start him against Arsenal on Sunday.
The Toffees boss said: “Bernard can help with everything we need. He is ready to give 100 per cent, even if he is not yet in his best physical condition, which is normal because he did not play since last March.
“In his first 50 minutes he did well, he had a good impact in a difficult moment in the match. He is a different profile from the other wingers in our squad. A quality player and he will help us. If I need 90 (minutes), he is ready for what I need.”
The defeat by West Ham, who arrived at Goodison having lost their opening four games, further dampened the initial optimism around Silva’s impact.
The loss followed draws with Bournemouth and Huddersfield and left Everton 10th in the fledgling Premier League table ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Emirates.
Silva has made it clear to his players that he expects a lot better than what he witnessed against West Ham, but is keen to move on.
He said: “We started the season well within the circumstances. We were playing almost two games with 10 players, reacted well also to the first home game, but after the (international) break, our last performance wasn’t the best.
“It’s something we have to handle and we have to prepare for the next game in a better way. Working hard, like we are working from the first day, learning from our mistakes, but giving the same confidence for our players to play that we were doing before, and looking forward is our way.”