New Straits Times

Funes Mori eyes return to first team


LIVERPOOL: Everton defender Ramiro Funes Mori is ready to stake his claim for a first-team spot ahead of Saturday’s Premier League tie against Brighton after featuring for the Under-23 team on his return from a long-term knee injury.

The Argentina internatio­nal, on what was his 27th birthday on Monday, delivered an assured performanc­e in a 2-0 win over Swansea City.

It was the first time Funes Mori played in a competitiv­e fixture since facing Hull City in March last year, shortly after which he underwent knee surgery.

“I’ve been training good these past weeks,” he told the club website. (

“Even though I wasn’t playing for the first team, I’ve been playing for the Under-23s to get the rhythm, get the tempo. I’m 100 per cent fit to play and I’m ready for Saturday.”

Funes Mori is also targeting a place in Argentina’s World Cup squad and his chances were boosted by a call-up for friendlies against Italy and Spain later this month.

“I’m very satisfied that the manager (Jorge Sampaoli) has called me even though I haven’t played for the first team,” he added.

“Hopefully I get my chance and go on from there.”

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