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Martinez: 'Big games will test strength of squad'


Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez

Roberto Martinez

EVERTON boss Roberto Martinez will use upcoming games against Arsenal and Chelsea to gauge whether he needs to sign more players.

Martinez, who guided the Toffees to fifth in the Premier League last season, wants to measure the strength of his side against the title challengers.

Everton have already had a successful summer in the transfer market, with Gareth Barry, Romelu Lukaku, Muhamed Besic and Christian Atsu among their recruits, but Martinez is not ruling out further arrivals this month. The Spaniard said: "I am pleased we are playing two of the best teams in the league now in Arsenal and Chelsea before the window closes.

"That is going to give us a real opportunity to see if we have to do anything or help the players we have at the club.

"But at the moment I am very pleased with the players we have and the squad we have.

"Now it is just a matter of pushing it and trying to get the best out of what we have got."

Injuries could also have an influence.

Everton last week lost England midfielder Ross Barkley for an indefinite period after suffering medial ligament damage in training.

Midfielder Bryan Oviedo and striker Arouna Kone are also on the sidelines, fighting their way back to fitness from a broken leg and knee injury respectively, and it still remains uncertain when they will be back in contention.

Martinez said: "Bryan and Arouna are progressing really well and can be involved in group sessions.

"But from that to playing in a competitive game is a gap that will be very difficult for us to answer.

"We have got a bit of time but over the next two weeks we need to take that into consideration, bearing in mind the transfer window will close."

Martinez has played down reports that Barkley, 20, could be out for five months but the club remain uncertain of the length of his lay-off.

He said: "That could be anything between seven, eight, nine weeks going all the way to a longer period."