David Moyes admits Everton have missed the contribution of Steven Pienaar so far this season.
Pienaar is currently working his way back to full fitness after breaking his toe in a pre-season friendly with PSV Eindhoven.
He has been given the all-clear to step up his recovery, with the midfielder likely to be in contention for a first-team return in a few weeks.
Toffees boss Moyes feels the South African's absence has been felt during a stuttering start to the new campaign.
"We have definitely missed his input, just as we have missed Tim (Cahill) and Tony Hibbert," Moyes told the Liverpool Echo.
"We need these type of players to help us. Steven did very well for us last season. He had a slow start and it took him a while to get into the swing of things.
"But as the year went on, his form really picked up and he became an important part of the team.
"We are looking forward to getting him back up and running again, as we want to have the competition for places again that we are missing just now. Steven will give us that."
Meanwhile, Everton will learn on Friday how long new signing Lars Jacobsen will be sidelined for with a shoulder injury.