Everton host Chelsea in nine days' time in their first fixture since the closure of the transfer window and both of the deadline-day acquisitions are expected to be named on the 18-man team sheet.
Aaron Lennon will need no introduction to Everton fans after his loan spell at Goodison Park earlier this year but Argentine international Funes is something of an unknown quantity and there will be plenty of observers watching on to see how he fares in English football.
Martinez admits that the 24-year-old will need time to adapt to the Premier League but, in terms of fitness, he says he would have no hesitation in including him in the team to face the Champions on 12 September.
"I feel that after the break he will be ready to join the group," Martinez told evertontv.
“Clearly, he is going to need a little bit of an adaptation period because the British game is very, very different, especially for a player that is in the last line. But, in terms of being available, I expect him to be fully fit and ready for the Chelsea game.”
Funes spent two weeks on Merseyside familiarising himself with his new surroundings before jetting out to Texas – where, coincidentally he lived from aged 10 and eventually joined MLS club FC Dallas – to link up with the Argentina national side.
The former River Plate centre half has just broken into his country's senior setup, recently earning his first cap, and Martinez believes that alongside new Manchester City signing Nicolas Otamendi and Manchester United's Marcos Rojo, Funes could ultimately form the bedrock of the Albiceleste's defence in the future.
"[T]here's a little bit of a change of generation in the national team," the manager continued. "You see [Nicolas] Otamendi, who has just signed for Manchester City, and Ramiro –- both could be the future of the national team. "That [Ramiro] can do that, within the environment and protection of ourselves, is something that excites me. And then, just purely that winning mentality that he brings, someone who has won a lot coming into a dressing room full of young talent here at Everton, he's the perfect fit."
Though BBC contributor and observer of South American football, Tim Vickery, has expressed serious reservations about the wisdom of Everton signing Funes – he went as far as describing the Ł9.5m fee the Blues paid this week as "reckless" – ESPNFC's Sam Kelly has a more optimistic view of the player's ability to succeed in the Premier League.
Cautiously likening Funes to another goalscoring Argentine defender who likes to bring the ball out of defence in Daniel Passarella, Kelly says that Funes has the physical strength and enough pace to cope in what is one of the toughest leagues in world football.
"It's going to be a step-up in pace for him and he might find the refereeing tricky at first," Kelly told evertonfc.com. "The Argentine Primera is a very physical division in which referees frequently let defenders get away with tackles that would be yellow or red cards elsewhere, so he's going to need to adapt to that quickly.
"A lot of players who move to Europe from Argentina need to bulk up a fair bit when they make the switch but I doubt that will be such a pressing issue for him. He's got a decent turn of pace and is good in the air too, especially attacking corners.
"He'll also return to Everton from his first proper excursion with the Argentine national team. I’ve no idea whether he'll play in either or both of the friendlies against Bolivia and Mexico, but he should be well-rested without having lost too much match sharpness."
Reader Comments (74)
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1 Posted 03/09/2015 at 18:29:59
2 Posted 03/09/2015 at 18:34:34
3 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:00:32
4 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:09:17
If he was some 19-year-old kid, this would be reckless, but he's an experienced player who has played for Argentina. I'm fed up of getting players in and then waiting for months to see them as they settle. If he's that good, chuck him straight in.
5 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:15:14
7 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:29:10
Landon came in from a lower league, off 3 weeks vacation no less, and Moyes put him straight in against Arsenal. He held his own.
If Oviedo needs a couple more days off come next weekend, give the kid a go.
8 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:29:14
I can just see Pedro, or Hazard, ripping him to pieces and then a few saying, "This guy is rubbish, what a waste of money!!" Let him at last train with the first team for a week.
9 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:34:07
10 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:42:10
If we've bought a pup, we'll soon find out. If he's any good, we'll see that against a decent team.
11 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:52:40
If it's agreed that there is a big difference in the Premier League from the league he has been playing in, I would say it's very ill-advised, and could set the player back weeks with regards to his confidence.
12 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:55:51
13 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:59:29
14 Posted 03/09/2015 at 19:59:35
He might be great but he might also be another Per Kroldrup; this isn't the game to find out. Barry to left back would be a better option if others aren't available.
16 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:08:29
My opinion though.
17 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:42:16
By all means have him as a sub
18 Posted 03/09/2015 at 20:53:16
Any wide man with pace who is prepared to run at him is going to present massive problems for Barry at left back. Nailed on for first card of the day and then skating (ever so slowly) on ice from then on out.
19 Posted 03/09/2015 at 21:35:49
20 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:05:23
21 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:16:53
Don't be fooled by their sloppy start. We need to be on our game. Especially our defence. Oviedo or Galloway for me. Even Browning could play LB. Shame that Baines is out. And Garbutt (when fit) should be called back. He should never have been out on loan. As I now rate him as a valuable squad player.
Mori will get his chance. I would play him against Reading. We should then see what he can do. Time will tell if he is good enough for Everton. But for now, I don't think he should start against Chelsea. And being an international means nothing. Alcaraz was an international! Do we want him back?
22 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:27:23
We'll put Tim Vickery's opinion to the test who seemingly doesn't rate him whatsoever, he would even have Alcaraz over him apparently, which just tells you how clueless he is!
23 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:31:27
Also, I thought that Barry played really well at LB when he had to fill in later on in the Watford game.
24 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:37:34
25 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:43:17
If Oviedo isn't fit enough then play the new lad or switch to a back three but Barry at left back is suicide.
I also predicted Bilyaletdinov would be a massive hit in his second season, so what do I know?
26 Posted 03/09/2015 at 22:48:38
If Funes is fit then let the fans see what he can do, for £9.5m or whatever they are supposed to have paid, he should have some ability.
They have played two young players, who are not really ready for the first eleven and Oviedo who is patently obvious not properly fit, up to now, so give the Argentinian a go.
27 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:27:19
29 Posted 03/09/2015 at 23:58:50
If it goes in our favour, he has a solid game, and that will do wonders for his confidence and we reap the benefits thereafter. We paid £9.5M for the lad, let's see what he can do – throw him in at the deep end. People suggesting Barry at left back confuse me. Glass half-full... sin miedo.
30 Posted 04/09/2015 at 00:11:52
31 Posted 04/09/2015 at 00:30:14
32 Posted 04/09/2015 at 00:55:32
At least let him get over the jet lag first!
33 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:20:33
If he ain't... he ain't.
Have some confidence in him and let him do his best. What's the worst that could happen???
34 Posted 04/09/2015 at 01:45:37
Spot on boys, Barry at full back against Pedro would be absolute suicide. He will be booked within half an hour and either sent before an hour is up or we will be a few down.
I cannot overly comment on how Mori will do as I've seen nothing of him but apparently he is quick and strong, plus he is left-sided so I'd personally fancy him over Barry or Galloway. Hopefully though Oviedo is fit and we will not have to throw Mori in at the deep end.
I can not understand for the life of me how this topic is even an issue though, Garbutt should never have been loaned out until Baines was tried an tested. We rushed to get him out but took our time to bring players in, this type of thing is simply infuriating.
Anyways, come on blues give us a performance to be proud of against Chelsea so as we can give Jose the abuse his recent actions deserve. Learn the words, clear your throats and get ya monopoly money ready, cos Money Can't Buy You Stones.
35 Posted 04/09/2015 at 03:09:58
36 Posted 04/09/2015 at 07:50:49
I think given how isolated our LB tends to get that playing Barry there against Pedro is my least favourite option.
To start Funes Mori there would be throwing the lamb to the wolves so to speak before the lad has even had time to work out where his locker is. Joe Gomez (who someone mentioned) had the whole pre season.
I'd probably opt for Browning. He struggled against City but it's good for his long term future to say we believe in you lad, you can do this. He's also quick and good in the air and so long as he can deal with his nerves I think he'll be ok.
I would like to see Funes Mori given a shot at LB in a few weeks time as I think having a fast, strong, good in the air player there really helps solidify our defence (remember Lescott).
37 Posted 04/09/2015 at 07:52:29
I have no qualms starting him next to Jagielka at Reading, would prefer him next to the more experienced Jagielka to begin with, nothing on Stones here by the way.
He's got himself into the Argentina side which is a feather in the cap for any guy, who knows if he's going to adapt or not, he may be fantastic or he may be another Kroldrup. It is a big risk, yes, of course, especially at £9.5 million, but let's wait until we see him play quite a fair few games before we make judgments on the fella.
38 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:16:59
However, in that case I would play Coleman left back and someone else (probably Browning) at right back. I'm also sick of signing players then hearing that they're not ready to play, but in this case I think it's definitely sensible not to chuck him in against Chelsea.
Drew (4), Besic has been here over a year and still isn't trusted to play as if he's a first team option.
39 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:26:54
He went on to play a lot of games for a decent Fiorentina team so clearly was not that bad a player. He's talked about as some sort of a disaster player but truth is that we never saw him and I think we only lost a mill or two max on his transfer fee.
40 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:31:27
41 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:36:53
For once I have to disagree with you.
Admittedly, I haven't ever seen Mori play 90mins but I do NOT think that Barry is the answer at left back against someone as pacey as Hazard or Pedro.
I'm not suggesting (because I haven't witnessed him play) that Mori is the answer but we do need more pace there than Barry.
42 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:48:52
Graeme Sharp watched Kroldrup's first training session and told a mate of mine he would not make it. "He can't head the ball" was Sharpie's verdict.
43 Posted 04/09/2015 at 09:51:13
I know it's no-ones fault but I can't believe we are scratching round for LB all of a sudden. Barry to play there is a definite no; he would get caned all game long.
However, I wouldn't be inclined to throw the new guy either especially how isolated our LB tends to be these days. so it would have to be Oviedo if fit for me.
44 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:31:29
45 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:37:47
Seriously, I think RM will have him on the bench... no way will he start the game.
46 Posted 04/09/2015 at 10:55:05
Remember Besic's first touch against Chelsea... Although he looked good last night!
47 Posted 04/09/2015 at 11:40:59
48 Posted 04/09/2015 at 11:57:58
Naturally left footed, 6.1&1/2 and, according to Martinez fit.
He has to make his debut some time.
We can't take Barry out of the middle of the park against Chelski.
If Oviedo isn't fit (and Galloway won't) be I'd play him.
49 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:05:12
None of our LBs are convincing or even available so whoever plays will need protection so put a grafter like Naismith left midfield.
50 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:21:07
51 Posted 04/09/2015 at 12:40:52
Barry at left back.......Christ (shudders)
52 Posted 04/09/2015 at 13:33:58
54 Posted 04/09/2015 at 15:32:03
55 Posted 04/09/2015 at 19:00:53
56 Posted 04/09/2015 at 21:06:02
57 Posted 04/09/2015 at 00:21:42
Like he has fear? Er no, why should he? Football is a game of attack and defence, no more no less, why should any geezer be afraid of the Premier League?
I say let him play and fuck the meeja!
58 Posted 05/09/2015 at 01:07:42
59 Posted 05/09/2015 at 01:39:56
Admittedly it would help if we could consistently take a corner and put it somewhere in the business area of the penalty area. He also appears very left-footed and there is footage of him hitting a screamer free kick.
He will definitely add to the Blues physicality and I would not be surprised to see him play left back v Chelksi.
60 Posted 05/09/2015 at 02:44:32
Also, he almost made a incredible goal with the right foot from long distance:
61 Posted 05/09/2015 at 04:49:07
Anyway talking of centre backs scoring from distance with their standing legs... years ago I was watching Everton at Arsenal at the old Highbury. Already a goal down, Ferguson sent off for swearing (the referee was miked up for an experiment and players like Adams were always swearing at him, and he did nothing).
Fully expecting defeat, I was actually sat in the North Stand in a season ticket area. Dave Watson nonchalantly volleyed in. From about 25 yards. On his left foot.
Those factors in combination had me dancing in the stands, when about 6 people in front of me jumped up and turned round.
Gave me a grin and a thumbs up and started jumping around too!
We're like cockroaches - we get everywhere. Even here in Saudi I've met a couple of Everton lads. No RS yet fortunately.
62 Posted 05/09/2015 at 05:17:24
Then there is the likable Oviedo, who is either not fit enough yet or will never be good enough. I do think posters generally still think he deserves a place because of his goal at Old Trafford. Apart from his poor showing at Spurs he lost possession which resulted in Kane in a one-on-one with Howard.
The LB against Chelsea should be a defensive one, not a marauding wing-back.
63 Posted 05/09/2015 at 05:58:09
64 Posted 05/09/2015 at 07:36:17
65 Posted 05/09/2015 at 08:02:11
I left Goodison feeling that, had Kendall signed Stones, he would have played him at right back that day. "With the attitude, Son, you are playing with ten internationals today; go out and enjoy yourself, because I know your good enough."
If you are good enough, then surely the best place to start is in the deep end. Play football... it's what he's been signed to do.
66 Posted 05/09/2015 at 08:04:41
By next weekend we will have a clearer picture as to who is fit, so don't panic.
67 Posted 05/09/2015 at 08:23:39
68 Posted 05/09/2015 at 10:40:44
Funes Mori from what I've seen of him looks a strong, athletic handful who's very good in the air - though you don't get to see him do too much defending but then that's probably not going to make for an exciting YouTube video.
We'll find out soon enough, but I'm quietly excited about this kid.
69 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:41:24
Garbutt was playing better than Baines last season, it just didn't make sense. All this pack shuffling at the back when we are down to the bare bones and our manager brings in another winger, Lennon, when we don't play wingers???
Fingers crossed the Irish don't push Coleman in to playing whilst injured or a Bus driver playing for San Marino doesn't crock Stones in that farcical non-event. As soon as this crap is over, the better, and we can get on with the stuff that matters.
70 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:46:46
71 Posted 05/09/2015 at 11:55:42
72 Posted 05/09/2015 at 12:03:34
He didn't just play full 90 mins, he also scored his first goal for Argentina.
73 Posted 05/09/2015 at 12:04:21
Naismith would do a job for a one-off and would give the LB a fighting chance. Besic would be another good bet as he is looking more disciplined now.
If Bryan or Brendan are fit then they must be played. Otherwise I would go for Barry; yes, he lacks pace but he knows the league, knows how to play LB and is clever enough to shut down space to prevent him being exposed for pace, especially with Naismith or Basic briefed to stay close to him.
Browning is not a LB so forget him and I agree with so many others that Mori should be given a chance to settle then play his natural position alongside Jags at Reading.
Surely our tactics against Chelsea will be to hit them on the break which would make it difficult for them to create the space to do us for pace at the back? Difficult one... whatever Roberto does will be hailed if we get a result and slated if we lose badly; he's taking a gamble whichever way he goes but has no choice!
75 Posted 05/09/2015 at 12:28:25
If we could watch him for ourselves, maybe we could decide if the people who call him these names actually do know what they are on about?
76 Posted 05/09/2015 at 16:57:37
77 Posted 06/09/2015 at 19:39:17
There's some interesting background info on him - they interviewed his high school coach and a family friend apparently.
78 Posted 08/09/2015 at 07:51:01
Will be interesting if he plays against Mexico tomorrow. They will be a far more competitive team.
79 Posted 09/09/2015 at 08:37:55
I only saw brief highlights but the guy playing his position (Otamendi) was badly turned and then gave away the penalty for Mexico's first goal. Almost gifted Mexico another with a terrible back-pass and wasn't very well positioned for Mexico's second either. Got 2 (out of 5) rating on one site I saw.
Luckily Aguero and Messi bailed them out in the last few mins.
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