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Everton fans would happily not see Ashley Williams again this season

The Welsh international has had a torrid campaign for Everton.

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Photo: Getty Images

Everton’s rather drab season continued at the weekend. They were defeated by Burnley at Turf Moor. The home side were fully deserving of the win, after outplaying Everton for much of the game.

Once again, Everton fans found themselves completely mystified by the performance of ‘captain’ Ashley Williams.

When signed from Swansea City in August 2016. Costing around £12 million, according to the BBC, it looked a good deal. The experienced defender had just excelled at the European Championships with Wales after years of top performances with the Swans.

However, he has never truly won over the Everton fans. Last season his performances were inconsistent. On the whole, for this campaign, they have been pretty poor.

Against Burnley was no different. Whilst Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane received much of the blame for the winning Chris Wood goal, Williams was remarkably at fault. He stood still and played the blame game whilst allowing the Kiwi striker to simply wander past him and head home.

Then, with Everton chasing the game, the 33-year-old stupidly swung his arm at Ashley Barnes and rightly received a straight red card.

It is not the first time Williams’ mentality has been an issue this season. He started the melee v Lyon in October as Everton chased some Europa League redemption.

If he was in his early-20s, both instances might be forgiven. Williams, however, is supposed to be a leader. At 33 he should be leading by example, not throwing toys out of his pram.

Everton fans, would happily not see him play again this season. It is a harsh reality for a player who is obviously talented but has simply not won over the fanbase.

(Photo by James Chance/Getty Images)

Ramiro Funes Mori is back fit and has featured for the under-23s. The Argentine himself has some disciplinary issues but given the woeful defending perpetuated by the immaturity of Williams this campaign a fresh face would be more than welcome.

Evertonians are in no doubt that Funes Mori, as well as the returning Phil Jagielka and the unfairly sidelined Mason Holgate, should be ahead of the increasingly unstable influence of Williams in the pecking order.

Hopefully, somebody grabs their opportunity when the Welshman is suspended.

English Premier League

Shani Tarashaj is back in action for Everton, but does he have future at club?

The Swiss international has struggled with injury and illness at Everton.

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Friday evening saw Everton play their final under-23 game of the season. The side battled to a 2-2 draw with Manchester United, with Matty Foulds and Luke Garbutt the unlikely goalscorers. The fixture also saw the appearance from the bench of a forgotten Everton player – Shani Tarashaj.

Back in January 2016, the then Everton boss Roberto Martinez signed Swiss international Shani Tarashaj from Grasshoppers Zurich. The fee involved, according to the Liverpool Echo, was around £3 million for a player that Martinez had high hopes for.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

The young attacker had come through the ranks at Grasshoppers and was immediately loaned back to them until the end of the season. He continued his fine form, which saw him earn a first Swiss cap and make the national squad for Euro 2016.

All the signs pointed to a future Everton star, but that has not been the case. Instead, Tarashaj has flopped at Everton and it would be no surprise if he was sold by the club this summer.

So what went wrong?

Firstly, the change of manager. It was Martinez who brought Tarashaj to the club in the same window he had signed Oumar Niasse. Once the Spaniard left, getting into Ronald Koeman ’s plans was always going to be a more difficult task.

Tarashaj then spent 2016-17 on loan at German side Eintracht Frankfurt. He struggled to make an impact in Germany and to compound his misery, injury and illness have struck.

(during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Switzerland at Aviva Stadium on March 25, 2016 in Dublin, Ireland.

Benign angina and severe tonsillitis have disrupted the sickly Swiss’ career on Merseyside before he suffered knee ligament damage last summer, which required surgery.

This season, the attacking midfielder has managed just two appearances for Everton’s under-23s and his career as a Toffee has, so far, been one to forget.

There is still hope for the Swiss international. He still has two years left on his contract at Everton and perhaps there is still a chance he can make it at Goodison Park. But two-and-a-half years after first signing for the club, Tarashaj is still waiting to make his Everton debut.

The Manchester United tie may very well prove to be his last as an Everton player.

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English Premier League

Everton must offer first-team assurances to Ademola Lookman next season

The 20-year-old has found success in the Bundesliga.

Jake Jackman

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Photo: Getty Images

It is becoming a more common theme for young English players to move abroad in the hope of gaining first-team football. The Bundesliga is their most popular destination, with the likes of Reece Oxford, Jadon Sancho, Ryan Kent and Ademola Lookman all spending time there this season with differing levels of success.

Lookman only played a total of 154 minutes in the Premier League this season and that caused him to look elsewhere for the game-time he needed to further his development. RB Leipzig came in to take the winger on loan move and the 20-year-old has been an instant success in Germany.

He hasn’t been a first-team regular, but he has been given the chance to impress and has started three more league matches than he did with Everton in the first half of the season.

The young attacker has made quite the impression on the German club as sporting director Ralf Rangnick has already talked about his hopes of making Lookman’s stay at the club a longer one. The official Bundesliga website report the following quotes taken from an interview with Kicker:

“If it were only up to us, then I would already know the answer. But it’s not only up to us – there’s no option in his contract. We’ll have to see what happens in the summer, and it also depends on what happens at Everton.”

Considering the talent levels in the squad, it was unlikely that Lookman was going to arrive and cement a position in the starting eleven immediately. He would have realised that, but he has impressed in the game-time that he has been given.

(Photo by Robert Michael/Getty Images)

On his debut, he scored the winning goal against Borussia Monchengladbach and, last weekend, he got a crucial equaliser against Werder Bremen.

It can be difficult to adjust to a new country, especially at the age of 20, but Lookman has quickly adapted to his new surroundings and emerged as a good squad player for the German club.

The fact that he has only played 360 minutes mean the following stats need to be treated with caution, but the attacker has produced good numbers in the Bundesliga so far. He currently averages 2.25 chances created and two shots per ninety minutes, highlighting the impact he is having on matches in the final third.

This summer will be an interesting one for Lookman as there will be genuine interest in his services, with current loan club RB Leipzig leading the chase for his signature.

The uncertainty regarding Everton’s future means there is an opportunity for a club to take him from Goodison Park, but the Toffees need to do everything they can to keep hold of him.

The current wingers in the Everton side are Theo Walcott and Yannick Bolasie, who are 29 and 28 respectively. They have each had good Premier League careers, but their best years are likely behind them due to various injuries.

(Photo by Chara Savvides/Getty Images)

In Lookman, they have a player that can already impact matches now and has potential to develop into a more threatening attacker in the future.

If RB Leipzig come in with a big offer this summer, there might be a temptation to sell Lookman, but that would be a mistake.

Everton have ambitions to become the best of the rest and challenge to break into the top six, but it has become clear this season that their squad isn’t good enough to do that. They won’t be able to achieve those objectives if they sell their best young players as it will only create more recruitment work for them.

Lookman has proven his talent this season and pushed his development on while on loan with RB Leipzig. He has earned a first-team opportunity and it is now imperative that Everton provide one at the start of next season. Otherwise, they will lose one of their best young players.

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Luke Garbutt signs off with style as Sam Allardyce tells him to leave

The Everton defender has been told to move on in the summer by Sam Allardyce.

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Friday night saw Everton’s under-23s end their terrible run of form in what was their final game of the season. They drew 2-2 with Manchester United to end the run of five consecutive defeats. For some of the Everton players, it may be the last time they play for the club. Belgian winger David Henen has already confirmed he was on his way out of the club this summer.  Now it seems Luke Garbutt will also exit.

This weekend saw Everton first-team boss Sam Allardyce admit that Garbutt would be told to find a new club this summer.

(<> on March 12, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

He is quoted by the Liverpool Echo as stating:

“He’s had a difficult time here and, personally, Luke Garbutt’s future is elsewhere.”

But at least he signed off with style. Everton, whose other goal came from defender Matty Foulds, took a 2-1 lead at the start of the second-half. It came after Garbutt, who joined from Leeds United in a deal reported by the Telegraph to be worth £600k,  scored a fantastic strike with his rocket of a left-foot.

It was a moment indicative of the quality Garbutt clearly possesses, but what has not been enough to take his career to the next level at Everton.

Garbutt looked like he would become a future star of the Everton first-team when he burst onto the scene in the 2014-15 campaign. However, he soon found himself out of contention. A string of injuries curtailed his development with loan spells at Fulham and Wigan Athletic failing to spark a revival.

(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

At the start of the current campaign, Garbutt was not given a squad number. Despite returning to the first-team squad for the clash with Watford in February, Garbutt has not played for Everton since the May 2015 defeat to Sunderland. This came despite a shortage of left-back options at Goodison Park this season. Still, Garbutt was overlooked.

At one point the former England under-21 international looked like being the natural successor to Leighton Baines but those days are in the past. This summer he will have to leave to get his career back on track, but at least he signed off with a bang.

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