Everton manager Marco Silva has insisted that Cenk Tosun still has a future at the club, despite being left out of the matchday squad against Burnley on Boxing Day.
Tosun has found first-team minutes hard to come by as Silva has instead preferred 21-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin in attack. He has started just one match since September and was not even part of the matchday squad for for 5-1 victory over Burnley, with forgotten man Oumar Niasse given Tosun's place on the bench.
When asked whether Tosun's omission signalled the end of his Everton tenure, Silva insisted he was simply resting the striker. He is quoted by The Guardian as saying: “Of course Tosun has a future here. Why would he not?
“I decided to go with Oumar Niasse for a change, that’s all. James McCarthy and Morgan Schneiderlin were also not in the squad but that was one specific game for which we decided to change the formation.
“We showed a good reaction after the Tottenham defeat in a difficult game where we had to show commitment as well as quality.”
Tosun's reduced role at Everton has prompted rumours of a potential departure from the club, with Tosun's former club Besiktas touted as potential suitors as they are still on the hunt for Tosun's successor following his January move to the Premier League.
Club president Fikret Orman spoke to NTV (via the Liverpool Echo) about Tosun's situation, and refused to rule out an imminent move for the striker. He said: “When Cenk was leaving, he asked me ‘Is the door open for me?’ I said 'of course'.
“This door will always remain open for him, but I think he has a lot of work to do in the Premier League.
"He was upset in Turkey when he was subbed off but in England you can see the passion and desire in his eyes when he was subbed in the 70th minute. Everton is a good club but our fans in Europe will multiply their total. Besiktas is a huge club.”
Everton currently find themselves eighth in the league table and could move up a position with victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday.