Everton are all set to lose Joel Robles in the summer. The Spaniard’s contract expires in the summer and it seems there is no desire for him to stick around at Goodison Park. With third-choice stopper Maarten Stekelenburg battling injury all season it would be no surprise to see Everton bring in a new face in the goalkeeping department.
One person who would be perfect in the role is Ali Al-Habsi. The Oman international brought the curtain down on his English career last summer by joining Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.
It was a career on these shores that started when Sam Allardyce signed him from Norwegian side Lyn whilst at Bolton Wanderers, way back in 2006.
It ended after two incredible seasons at Reading, where Al-Habsi was named player of the season on both occasions.
It was a shock to see Al-Habsi go, but the lure of playing in a lucrative league like in Saudi Arabia must have been a huge appeal for the 36-year-old stopper. Surprisingly however things have not exactly gone to plan. Al-Habsi has struggled to cement the number one spot with the club and was even left out of their Asian Champions League squad.
So should Everton give him a route back to England?
Al-Habsi would be the perfect back-up option at Goodison Park. Not only has he worked with Allardyce before but his experiences in English football could prove invaluable to Everton’s precocious number one Jordan Pickford. Like the England stopper Al-Habsi was prone to errors as a young keeper but has matured into a fine and competent stopper.
Pickford could learn so much from training with the Omani star who would be a great option should Pickford be unavailable or if Everton want to rotate in the cup matches.
A new goalkeeper is an avenue Everton need to address this summer to offer Pickford sufficient back-up. Allardyce reuniting with Al-Habsi could be the best potential deal out there for the Toffees.