Kroldrup and Van der Meyde set for Everton debuts

There is a more tangible reason for Moyes' conviction that the draw with Jose Mourinho's champions at Goodison Park offers the turning point to an otherwise alarming campaign, however, and that is a squad that will finally include two of his most important signings of the summer for tonight's Carling Cup third-round tie with Middlesbrough, Per Kroldrup and Andy van der Meyde.

Though the Everton manager will be without a natural left-back for four weeks after Nuno Valente suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday he has good cause to welcome the return to fitness of his Danish centre-half and Dutch winger, neither of whom have played for their new club this season due to groin problems. Kroldrup, a £5m acquisition from Udinese, and Van der Meyde, enticed from Internazionale for £1.8m, offer immediate remedies to a team struggling to stop and create goals this season, though with so little football behind them Moyes is understandably keen to stifle the expectations around them.

"They will both be in the squad for the first time and will play some part but I haven't decided how much yet," he said. "Andy is a tremendous crosser of the ball, he can certainly score goals and he is desperate to play, but I still think it will be another six to eight weeks before he is at the level we want."

"We knew his situation all along and his groin has had time to strengthen now," said Moyes. "He has not been feeling sorry for himself, he is a bit of a character, and he is ready to play. I feel the price we paid represented good value and he can be an exciting player for us. He wants to get back into the Dutch team in time for the World Cup so there is an incentive for him, too."

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