‘Health before football’ – Koeman provides Aaron Lennon update

Everton manager Ronald Koeman hopes to see winger Aaron Lennon back in his squad soon but admits the player’s well-being is paramount.

On Sunday the 30-year-old was detained under the Mental Health Act amid concerns for his welfare and the club subsequently revealed he was suffering from a stress-related illness.

Koeman is keen for Lennon to make a full recovery before he starts thinking about football again.

“As you know the club mentioned that Aaron had a stress-related illness and it is a private situation,” he said.

“We try to give him all the support (to enable) him to come back as soon as possible.

“We have contact with him and his family and I think it is best we keep it inside between club, the player and his family.

“We would like to see him back but what is important now is for him to be like he was. Life, health, is more important than football.”

Koeman concedes the pressure on players is greater now than when he was still playing but he feels there are systems in place to provide the necessary support.

“The whole social media is different than it was 20 years ago and of course that is more pressure; more football, more games, international football – that is really tough for players,” he added.

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“We try always with every individual player to help him to improve as a football player and if we feel there are some problems in mental health or other issues then we have enough people working in the club to help players with these kind of problems.

“What I saw when I was at Southampton and now at Everton every Premier League club has people to help.

“You need to have open communication with players so if there is something they will mention it but I think we have the people to support the players if there is any mental problem.”