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Everton should give Lyon’s Memphis Depay a second chance in England

The former Manchester United flop has 14 goals to his name this season.

Max Cohen

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Memphis Depay
Photo: Getty Images

Signed amid much fanfare for Manchester United in 2015, Memphis Depay was an undisputed flop, failing to live up to his £31 million price tag with just two league goals to his name.

However, the mercurial Dutch winger is currently enjoying the form of his life and would be a superb summer signing for Everton.

Ever since his move to Lyon in January 2017, the 24-year-old has been on absolute fire. Last March, Depay scored an outrageous David Beckham-esque chip goal from the half-way line, showcasing his remarkable finishing ability.

More recently, the Dutch international was involved in a tremendous run of ten straight Lyon goals. Depay scored the winner against Marseille, bagged a brace against Toulouse, set up four and scored one against Metz, and then assisted and scored against Amiens on the weekend.

The scintillating spell has coincided with Depay’s move to a central striker role in a 4-4-2 system, leading to a prolific five-match league winning streak for Lyon.

The attacker would be a brilliant signing for Everton, a club that are the league’s tenth-lowest scorers despite massive outlays on forward talents this year.

Their goal-shy approach was on full display on the weekend, when the Toffees laboured to a 1-1 draw against strugglers Swansea City; the lone scorer for Everton was a Kyle Naughton own goal.

The free-scoring Depay would be a welcome addition for a side that has scored just seven goals in their last eight matches. Not only a pure goalscorer, he can also create a plethora of chances, assisting 11 goals along with his 14 strikes this season.

The Dutch international will be eager to redeem himself in the Premier League after his miserable spell with United and Goodison Park would be an ideal location for Depay to thrive.

Everton would do well to acquire the services of this influential attacker who can create and score goals for fun.

Max is an 18-year-old football journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football, is an avid follower of Fulham, and co-hosts a weekly Fulham podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

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

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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