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Everton

Redemption loan for Kevin Mirallas has descended into chaos

The Belgian has struggled to around the fortunes of Olympiakos.

Mathew Coull

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Kevin Mirallas has certainly been a good servant to Everton Football Club but it seems his time at the club is coming to an end. After making just two Premier League starts this season the Belgian decided he needed to leave the club if he was to have a chance of making his nations World Cup squad.

Therefore, the 30-year-old joined his former club Olympiakos in the winter transfer window on loan until the end of the season.  

It is a move that has not worked out for the attacker.

PIRAEUS, GREECE – SEPTEMBER 18: Kevin Mirallas of Olympiacos FC appeals during the Greek Super League match between Olympiacos FC and Xanthi FC at the Karaiskakis Stadium on September 18, 2011 in Piraeus, Greece. (Photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/EuroFootball/Getty Images)

Mirallas has failed to capture the form that once saw him heralded as a hero at the Greek side. He has played 13 times for the club since his return but has won just six of those games which, for a team who have won the Greek Superleague title seven times in a row, is not good enough.

It has culminated in Olympiakos looking out of the Greek title race, with AEK Athens and PAOK Salonika battling for the championship. It has also seen the entire Olympiakos side banished to holiday by owner Evangelos Marinakis and the youth-team being called up.

Reports in Greece this week have made it clear that Mirallas is not wanted permanently by his loan club. Gazetta have reported that Olympiakos will not make a move to sign him in the summer after his poor performances. Meanwhile, FootNews this week reported that a move to Standard Liege is looking like a potential goer this summer.

Mirallas has failed to live up the hype that followed his move to Olympiakos and is now in the middle of chaotic circumstances at the Greek club.

xxxx during the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Everton at Amex Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Brighton, England.

As for Everton, it seems the bridges at the club are burnt whilst Sam Allardyce remains as first-team manager. He has a deal at Goodison Park until 2020, so the Toffees can certainly demand a good price for the player.

But after his spell at Olympiakos, it is hard to see a club wanting to spend too much money on the Belgian winger this summer.

Everton may have a job on getting a price worthy of selling the player when the season ends.

Everton

Everton’s pursuit of Tom Pearce shows lack of confidence in Antonee Robinson

Everton are in the hunt for the Leeds youngster but already have a player of similar ability.

Mathew Coull

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It seems as though change is afoot in the left-back position at Everton. Leighton Baines could be ending his 11-year stay at Goodison Park and Luke Garbutt is also set to leave the club. Everton were already low in the left-back position, so new signings need to be made.

One player who has been linked with a move to Everton is Leeds United youngster Tom Pearce. The 20-year-old is out of contract at Leeds and Everton are hopeful of convincing the Ormskirk-born talent to head back to Merseyside. He spent his youth in the Everton academy, before leaving for Leeds in 2014.

Pearce has performed well for Leeds since entering the first-team and it appears Everton are ready to bring him home.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

But the pursuit of Pearce must surely not sit well with one of their current talents. Antonee Robinson looks like being a potential future star for Everton if given the right opportunity.

This season has been something of a breakout for the 20-year-old. He played 34 times for Bolton Wanderers during a loan spell this season. His form was so impressive that he even received a national team call-up. He was in the United States national team squad for the March fixture with Panama but did not receive his first cap for his country.

But the pursuit of Pearce certainly sends out the wrong message to Robinson. Both players are the same age, play in the exact same position and had breakout years in the Championship last term.

(during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Leeds United at Villa Park on April 13, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Everton however, instead of giving Robinson a chance in the first-team next season, were prepared to replace him with an identical player.

Robinson may need another season out on loan to eventually go on and become a regular for Everton. But bringing in someone who would, effectively, replace him makes little sense.

It is hardly a strong tactic toward building up the confidence of one of your young talents.

Robinson should be getting the chance to show what he can offer before Everton bring in another player and push him down the pecking order.

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Everton must swoop with Milan set to let Ricardo Rodriguez go

Everton are looking for a long-term replacement to Leighton Baines.

Mathew Coull

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It seems as though Ricardo Rodriguez could be on his way out of AC Milan after just one season at the San Siro. According to a report from Calcio News 24 the Milan head coach Gennaro Gattuso is not convinced by the Swiss international and is prepared to let him go in the summer. Tutto Mercato Web also reports a similar view. They believe Milan will sign Cristiano Biraghi from Fiorentina this summer to replace the left-back, with Rodriguez a target for Borussia Dortmund.

Rodriguez was signed last summer from VfL Wolfsburg. Rated as one of the best left-backs in the world during his time at the German club, Milan paid a fee in the region of £13 million to bring him to Italy, as reported by the Daily Mail, potentially rising to £15.6 million.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

That was seen as a bargain at the time and, even at a more expensive price, Everton should be taking note.

It seems that after 11 years Everton legend Leighton Baines has decided he will leave Goodison Park this summer. He is said to be keen on a move to MLS and will leave as perhaps one of the club’s greatest ever full-backs.

But his exit leaves a chasm in the left-back position. Everton are believed to be keen in Leeds youngster Tom Pearce, but still need a first-team replacement for the departing England international.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Rodriguez is almost a carbon copy of Baines. A left-back who can do his defensive duties, but also adds an extra dimension in attack.

The Swiss star has an excellent delivery and will chip in with assists in a similar style to Baines. He is also a set-piece specialist, like Baines. Free-kicks and penalties often represent a chance for the 25-year-old to get on the scoresheet.

This season has not been Rodriguez’s best. With just two assists, both coming in the Europa League, the defensive style of Milan’s play has stifled his attacking streak.

But Rodriguez is perhaps a better defender than Baines and would fit into the Premier League with relative ease.

If Everton were looking for a replacement for Baines, then Milan have just handed them the perfect option on a plate if they move fast.

Securing Rodriguez’s signature before the World Cup would be a massive coup for Everton, and perhaps solve the problem of replacing Baines in the long-term.

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Everton would be foolish to allow Leighton Baines to leave for MLS on a free

The 32-year-old is a fan favourite at Goodison Park.

Max Cohen

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Leighton Baines
Photo: Getty Images

Reports this week in The Sun have sensationally claimed that Everton left-back Leighton Baines is set to move to Major League Soccer this summer on a free transfer.

The report is likely to simply be a rumour, but regardless, the Toffees should not be looking to ship off the club legend after more than a decade at Goodison Park.

The England international recently endured an injury-hit season, missing 15 matches due to a calf injury, yet is still an integral part of the squad.

At 33 years of age, there is no doubt that Baines’ best years are behind him. But the defender is still an assured presence at the back while also serving as a superb leader and ambassador for Everton.

Baines celebrated his 400th Everton match in April, a laudable achievement for a true servant of the club.

(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

The left-back has constantly handled himself with utter class during his spell at Everton and has an unquestionable love for the club, notably speaking out on the lack of team chemistry during Roberto Martinez’s reign.

And even during the low points of Everton’s disappointing 2017/18 season, Baines has maintained his excellent level of desire, determination, and loyalty.

His current contract runs until the summer of 2019, and the Merseyside club would be misguided if they let the left back depart before that date. Baines has become synonymous with Everton over the past 11 years, and can clearly still play at football’s highest level.

If he was to depart to the far weaker American league for a retirement send-off, it would represent a grave mistake for both player and club.

Leighton Baines must resist interest from Major League Soccer and remain at Goodison Park, where has achieved legendary status and still has a Premier League future.

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