There are some players in the Everton squad whose futures do not involve being at Goodison Park, and they know it. Manager Ronald Koeman in his pre-match media obligations maintained his hard-line stance on players that he felt had no part to play in his vision for the club.
"In some positions we need more balance. We need players for the future, that’s why we signed Lookman. He’s a future project.
"We'd like to be stronger, we like to improve. If we can do that with the players that we have then we will, but if we can sign better players then we will do it.
"Most of the players know the situation. Some players now in the squad don’t have that future for Everton."
Tom Cleverley and Oumar Niasse have already been shipped out on loan, with more players like Darron Gibson, Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo on the fringes of the squad and possibly being referenced by Koeman in his statement.
One player who has been linked with a move away from the club is James McCarthy, but in an interview with the Liverpool Echo, Koeman insisted he was staying put.
“There’s no chance James will leave in January – I don’t know about interest for him.
“After the summer yes, but not now because the player has shown what I like – he has shown his quality and now it is important for this player to get some long time fitness and not be disrupted by injuries.”
McCarthy has been a polarizing figure for Koeman with his recent injury woes, with the Dutchman getting embroiled in a verbal spat with Republic of Ireland managers Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane about his perceived misuse of the player while still recovering from injury.
It’s looking like new signing Morgan Schneiderlin, Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye, youngster Tom Davies and McCarthy will form the Toffees’ defensive midfield backbone for the rest of this season.