Everton have a proud history of promoting young players from their academy, so it was perhaps a surprise when Antonee Robinson was allowed to join Wigan Athletic on a permanent basis in the summer.
The 22-year-old left Goodison Park without a first-team appearance to his name, but with bucket loads of unearthed potential.
Loan spells at Bolton and then Wigan had helped him cut his teeth in the men’s game and it probably came as a surprise when Everton chose to sell him to the Latics.
What happened in the January transfer window will surely have really raised eyebrows back at Goodison Park.
Wigan accepted a £10 million bid from AC Milan for Robinson’s services and he travelled to the San Siro to thrash out personal terms (Mirror).
Sadly the deal fell through at the eleventh hour and the left-back returned to Wigan where he will look to get his head down and possibly earn himself a summer move elsewhere.
Although Robinson will be gutted to miss out on a move to one of European football’s top club, he might not have to wait long to leave the DW Stadium.
The Mirror has reported that Chelsea, Aston Villa and Newcastle are keen on securing a deal to sign the defender during the summer.
With interest mounting and probably only like to increase between now and the summer, perhaps Everton should rue their decision to offload.
Lucas Digne is quite clearly the first choice in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad but after that, there isn’t a lot in reserve.
The experienced Leighton Baines is now 35 and his contract will expire in the summer. Having played just three times this season, the chances of an extension appear slim.
Loaning Robinson out and allowing him another full season at a club where he would be the first choice would have been ideal.
Wigan have given him a great opportunity to play plenty of matches and he has clearly benefited from it.
Robinson averages nearly three tackles a game, three clearances a game but also makes at least two forward runs on average (Who Scored).
After the failed move to Milan and several clubs now keen, it looks like former boss Marco Silva made a real error of judgement on Robinson and might live to regret not giving him more of a chance.