The 2017/2018 season has brought mixed fortunes for Everton. Having brought Wayne Rooney back to the club on top of some other useful signings, things looked on the up at Goodison Park, with the Toffees eyeing a strong campaign that could potentially even challenge the top sides in the league.
Unfortunately, however, after a disastrous start under Ronald Koeman, the season began to unravel and Sam Allarydce’s men will be pleased simply to be remaining in the top flight.
As the summer approaches, the Toffees requiring a re-shuffling of the pack, with a number of players having proved themselves unworthy of a place in the first-team. Here are three players that Everton should part ways with in the upcoming transfer window.
Welsh veteran centre-half Ashley Williams has had a mixed season, but one thing is for sure and that is his Everton performances have not been crying out for him to start each week.
With Mason Holgate, Michael Keane and Phil Jagielka all on the books, Williams is a player the Toffees could do with replacing, to free up space for a new face in the heart of defence. With plenty of experience, the club should have no problem finding potential suitors for the Welsh international.
French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin never really seized his opportunity after his move to Manchester United, failing to convince his coaches and the fans that he was genuinely the right man to be leading the team’s efforts from midfield.
A move to Everton last season was the perfect opportunity for the 28-year-old to kick-start his career and pick up where he left off with Southampton.
However, things have not gone to plan. The Frenchman has made 26 appearances for the Toffees this term, yet his performances have been underwhelming to say the least and, just like his time at Old Trafford, he has not proved himself to be a justified starter at Goodison Park.
With Tom Davies and Wayne Rooney forming a decent partnership in the centre of the pitch, Schneiderlin is a player the club could definitely part ways with this summer.
Ex-Ajax captain Davy Klaassen arrived on Merseyside with much promise after proving himself to be a highly useful payer in the Eredivisie over the last six years. At 25, Klaassen still has much of his career ahead of him. However, he has simply been a waste as an Everton player this season.
With an imbalanced squad, Klaassen has been unable to claim a spot in the midfield, up against some stiff competition in Rooney, Davies, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Idrissa Gueye. The Dutch international has only made 13 appearances since joining the Toffees, just four of which have come in the Premier League.
Having spent some £24 million on him, it is safe to say that Klaassen has been a waste. It is not that he himself has wasted his chances, more that his talents have been wasted due to lack of playing time and, regardless of whether Everton want to keep him or not, the former Ajax man should be seeking a move away.
Aged 25, Everton should still be able to command a sizeable fee for him, and could recoup some of the money spent on him.
Mason Holgate display shows Yerry Mina he has a fight on his hands
The Everton defender put in an assured performance v Southampton this weekend.
Everton took on Southampton in the Premier League yesterday, picking up their first win of the Marco Silva era. Goals from Theo Walcott and Richarlison proved enough for the victory, despite Danny Ings grabbing one back.
Everton impressed on a day when they were forced into a change at the back. Phil Jagielka had been red-carded in the opening day 2-2 draw with Wolves. With the club captain absent, a centre-back had to step in alongside Michael Keane.
Silva went with Mason Holgate over loanee Kurt Zouma. The young defender put in an assured display at the back, as he did many times last season in the heart of defence.
It certainly seems the 21-year-old is ahead of Zouma in the pecking order.
But what about Yerry Mina?
Everton have just paid Barcelona £28.5 million to sign the Colombian, after his impressive World Cup in Russia. However, he arrives with a minor foot injury which means he was not able to take to the field.
But Holgate’s performance should demonstrate to Mina that getting in the first-team at Everton will not be a procession.
Holgate, after years of trying to establish himself as a regular first XI player will see this as a perfect opportunity.
Mina will need to be up for a fight. For Everton fans, such strength in competition is only good news for the club.
One winner, one loser as Cuco Martina completes Stoke loan move
The 28-year-old completed a loan switch to the Championship.
The Curacao international had seen his opportunities at Goodison Park limited and will be eager to help the Potters achieve promotion.
Here is one winner and one loser from the loan deal, as Martina will be pleased by the prospect of consistent football but Stoke’s underperforming defenders may be at risk of losing their place.
Winner: Cuco Martina
During his debut year at Goodison Park, Martina always played with impressive desire but never looked like a player of top quality.
The defender, who is more comfortable as a right back, performed with admirable effort when asked to play left back last season, but was largely off the pace.
After Everton purchased ex-Barcelona defender Lucas Digne this summer, Martina must have realised he was not in Marco Silva’s future plans.
A move away from Merseyside will do the Curacao international a world of good, granting him consistent first team football and a chance to shine at an ambitious club looking to return to the top flight.
Loser: Stoke City’s underperforming defenders
The Potters largely kept last season’s Premier League squad intact, including their full-backs Erik Pieters and Moritz Bauer.
However, these same players that were relegated with Stoke are failing to light the Championship on fire. The club is still searching for its first win of the season and is mired in 22nd in the league after the first two matches.
With the addition of Martina, Pieters and Bauer will undoubtedly be looking over their shoulders nervously and wondering if their first team berth is at risk.
The two underperforming full-backs could be axed from Gary Rowett’s lineup in favour of the Everton loanee, as Martina will be eager to prove his worth at his new club.
Pundits believe home field advantage is key for Everton
Even two former Liverpool men are backing the Toffees this weekend.
Everton returned to Premier League action last weekend with a thrilling 2-2 draw with newly-promoted Wolves but improvement is required for the Toffees.
New club-record signing Richarlison hit the ground running by netting a superb brace to catch the eye on his debut, although there was not much joy defensively for the Merseyside outfit – particularly following Phil Jagielka’s red card.
The Toffees host Southampton this weekend and Silva’s side have been unanimously backed to ensure all three points remain at Goodison Park by a trio of pundits; Mark Lawrenson, Michael Owen and Paul Merson.
Former Liverpool defender Lawrenson had the kindest words to say about the Toffees when making his weekly predictions for the BBC, praising Everton supporters for always contributing a superb atmosphere whatever the game or the occasion – and he expects the stands to be rocking for Silva’s first game in charge.
“The Everton fans will appreciate the football that new boss Marco Silva tries to play and there will be a great atmosphere for his first home game in charge – there always is at Goodison Park, no matter how good the team are.”
That view is echoed by Merson, who believes there will be a buzz around the stadium and a sense of optimism after a positive result away from home against Wolves – and he told Sky Sports that Richarlison will provide the key to all three points, predicting a narrow 1-0 victory.
Last season Everton’s record at home proved to be crucial come the end of the campaign, as the Toffees won ten of their 19 matches at Goodison Park, drawing four and losing five – all of which came against sides in the Premier League’s top seven.
In comparison, the Toffees were woeful on the road as they lost ten times – including winnable games against Southampton, Bournemouth, Burnley, Watford and West Ham. On the road, Everton only managed to beat Newcastle, Stoke and Huddersfield.
While the platform for any success for Everton this season will certainly be built by results at Goodison Park, it’s the form away from home that will decide whether the campaign is memorable or forgettable under the guidance of Marco Silva.
Everton aspire to be back in European competitions next year and that’s where away trips become even more difficult but the Toffees have completed good business this summer by drafting in the likes of Richarlison and Yerry Mina, the latter of whom Michael Owen told BetVictor he expects to make his debut on Saturday – and they will need the Colombia international to immediately settle into the rigours of the Premier League.
Owen’s prediction of an ‘entertaining game’ at Goodison Park is likely to be proven true as the two teams conceded a combined total of 114 goals last season, 58 of which were shipped by Everton.
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