Bolasie receives hero's welcome in Tanzania

Everton's Yannick Bolasie Richard Sellers/EMPICS

Everton midfielder Yannick Bolasie was greeted with a hero's welcome when the Toffees touched down in Tanzania to start their pre-season.

The Toffees will play Kenyan opponents Gor Mahia on Thursday, making the event an especially African affair as Tanzanian supporters get the opportunity to meet some Premier League stars.

Bolasie is recovering from a serious knee injury and is unlikely to play again until Christmas but has travelled with the squad despite undergoing separate operations to repair his meniscus and cruciate ligament.

Local football-lovers reserved a special chant for the 28-year-old DR Congo international, who joined in the song and dance to the delight of the crowd.

Manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed all players making the trip to East Africa -- arranged as part of their partnership with new sponsors SportPesa -- will feature for at least 45 minutes.

"It's a trip that is not all about football. There is the commercial side as well, which is good for Everton. We will support the club in what we need to do over there," Koeman said.

"The most important thing is how we start our pre-season. It is about what we need to do to get to our best at our football and physical levels. "This is our first friendly and everybody will be involved for 45 minutes in the game. You play football to win and we will do that in Tanzania."

Wayne Rooney will also make his first appearance since rejoining his boyhood club from Manchester United.