'Everton fans are holding out for a hero'

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Mike Hughes, BBC Radio Merseyside

The arrival of Beto late in the transfer window, and his impressive performance against Sheffield United, offered just a chink of light amid the gloom for Everton fans, after what has been a turbulent and difficult start to the new Premier League season.

The Blues still managed to spurn some golden opportunities at Bramall Lane, but the 6ft 4in Portuguese striker looks to have the capacity to bring a genuine cutting edge at the top end of the pitch. It’s early days of course and a proper judgement call on what he can bring to the team is still a while away.

With Dominic Calvert-Lewin back in training and eager to shake-off the injury curse that has followed him for far too long, there's the possibility of a mouth-watering Everton forward line that includes both Calvert-Lewin and Beto, at some point in the near future.

Both men can hold the ball up and bring others into play, both have the ability to find space in the box, are good in the air and can score goals.

Whether Everton can afford to accommodate both of them in the starting line-up against Arsenal on Sunday is another matter. Some Everton fans might say that they can’t afford not to, given their need for those three priceless commodities - goals, points and victories.

Sean Dyche is still searching for the right balance in midfield, and trying to prevent Saka and Martinelli causing constant problems in wide areas means containment and coping with the Gunners' goal threat will be part of the game plan at Goodison.

It’s hardly worthwhile moaning about what the Premier League fixture computer dishes out on a weekly basis, but it’s galling nevertheless for Everton fans to be facing up to, what is, on paper at least, their most difficult game of the opening eight in the league.

It also comes after what has been their best performance of the campaign so far, but it also serves to underline their shortcomings in front of goal in their home matches against Fulham and Wolves, and the added points that should already be in the bag.

Everton have built up a more than decent record against Arsenal at Goodison in recent years. They’ve won four of the last five against the Gunners and drew the other. Indeed last season’s fixture was Sean Dyche’s first in charge as the Blues' manager and James Tarkowski headed in the winner from a corner at the Gwladys Street end.

The background of possible takeover talks being at a supposed 'advanced stage' doesn’t add to the mood amongst the Goodison faithful in the build-up to Sunday’s game.

But Everton fans are holding out for a hero and if they have one on Sunday night, it could be lift-off for their season.

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