David Moyes says he has been encouraged by Magaye Gueye’s recent contributions to the first team.
The young French forward was handed a first start of the season in the draw with Norwich before getting an hour as a substitute in the win over Swansea.
Gueye started with bags of zeal against the Canaries before fading, while he certainly played a part in a general attacking improvement in Wednesday night’s success.
Moyes reckons the 21-year-old has now put his fitness problems behind him and is ready for a more significant role in the team.
“I think he has played quite well in the last two games,” admitted the Everton boss. “He came on against Swansea and did some good things.
“He is looking fitter than he has done. He had a few issues at the start of the season and is really just beginning to get himself back into line now.
“We are looking to push him in the right direction and he has done some nice things.”
Another player who could potentially add to the competition for attacking positions is James McFadden, who was brought back to the club as a free agent in October.
The Scot, who had been out for a year with a serious knee injury, has seen his route back to action temporarily blocked by a hamstring problem but, again, Moyes is seeing signs of progress.
“He is trying to regain his fitness,” he said. “We are trying to bring him back. He had a hamstring injury in training and he is obviously coming back from a knee problem.
“He is in the squad and he is around it. I am just watching and having a look at how he is coming on and he is looking stronger.
“We are hoping James can come in and get himself in good order and give us another option at the right time.”