This season Everton decided to send Matthew Pennington out on loan to Leeds United. The centre-back had little chance of getting into the Everton first-team. The Toffees had signed Michael Keane in the summer from Burnley. He joined a centre-back contingent containing Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka and Mason Holgate. With Ramiro Funes Mori also on the books Pennington’s chances of football at Goodison Park looked slim.
Leeds needed a new centre-back this summer. Kyle Bartley’s loan deal had come to an end so Pennington looked like a good recruit.
However, he has struggled since his switch to Elland Road. Pennington has battled niggling injury problems throughout the campaign.
The injuries began on the opening day of the season. Pennington played 64 minutes of the Bolton Wanderers clash before limping out of action. He had suffered an ankle injury and was not seen again until the 26th September defeat against Cardiff City.
Pennington also had injuries in November and throughout January. Leeds have not been able to rely on the 23-year-old and that has left Pontus Jansson and Liam Cooper exposed at times this campaign.
Everton will no doubt be disappointed to see their talented defender struggling for form in the Championship.
Pennington looked assured, composed and fit in his Leeds debut, but limping out in the 64th minute truly defines the campaign he has had at Elland Road.
This summer his contract at Everton comes to an end. Based on his performances in West Yorkshire the Everton graduate is unlikely to have a future at Goodison Park in the long run.
It is certainly a shame as the 23-year-old has the potential to be a very talented player. Everton however does not look like being his long-term home.
Hopefully this summer Pennington can find himself a new home and find some consistency in terms of form and fitness.
Everton fans will certainly like to see him come good elsewhere and wish him the best of luck.