Former Villa and West Ham midfielder Hitzlsperger on trial with Everton
21:30 GMT, 24 September 2012
Thomas Hitzlsperger has started a two-week trial at Everton in the hope of securing a permanent deal.
Everton boss David Moyes has been monitoring the former West Ham and Aston Villa midfielder, who has been without a club since being released by Wolfsburg in June, to see if he could give his squad some depth.
Hitzlsperger is not fit enough to be considered for a game of Tuesday night's intensity in the Capital One Cup at Leeds but the 30-year-old has a fortnight to convince Moyes he could do a job for him this season. Everton are currently without key holding midfielder Darron Gibson.
Under the Hammer: Hitzlsperger is on trial at Goodison Park
'I have been very pleased with him,' said Everton assistant manager Steve Round.
'Thomas is a long way off playing but we have given him the opportunity to come in and it is up to him now. We will assess him over the next couple of weeks.
'He seems a really good lad and I don't think I have seen him without a smile on his face. What will determine whether he gets a contract is his fitness. He has had a bad injury and we would want to see that he could sustain training.
'If he could do that, he would add quality and strength to our squad. He has got a history of playing at the highest level.'
Everton have made an impressive start to the Barclays Premier League season and Moyes will name a strong team for this evening's clash at Elland Road, in the hope of taking his club to the final of this competition for the first time since 1984.
Flying high: Everton have made a promising start to the season
Costa Rican international Bryan Oviedo is expected to make his debut on the left wing and even though Nikica Jelavic has made a quick recovery from the knee injury he sustained against Newcastle last week, Victor Anichebe is set to start up front.
Anichebe has scored in Everton's last two games and is threatening to fulfil the potential that saw him make his debut for the club as an 18-year-old in 2006.
Blackburn and Wigan considered signing him during the last transfer window but he is now starting to make a significant contribution.
'The biggest nemesis to Victor has been himself,' said Round. 'He has got all the attributes to be a top centre-forward and there have been days when I have seen him and he has been unplayable. It is now starting to come together for him.
'The most important thing for him now is to stay injury free. If he can build on this, he could become a top Premier League striker. He has got the capabilities. We want to do well in this competition. I have won it before (with Middlesbrough in 2004) and it would mean a lot to do it again.'