As we get closer and close to the January transfer window opening, Everton manager Sam Allardyce has been speaking about how he is planning to approach the window. In the pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Chelsea, the manager was asked about what he learned from the closed-doors game organized this week that pitted the fringe players against one another.
“Firstly, the injured players getting a game, getting a run out. Ross Barkley had a bit of a run out, joining up in the training. James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie also joined in. That’s very important now that these lads are beginning to train with us on a regular basis.
“The rest of the players in the squad got a full ninety minutes under their belts, to help us decide when we need them where to put them in. We will probably need a lot of the squad that we’ve got over the next two weeks with the amount of games we have to play.
“It is a behind-closed-doors game so it was not a full competitive game but it gives us an idea about who suits what position and where they prefer to play. It was well worthwhile and players like to have more games of that type because match fitness is very important.”
The question then came up about which players could be on their way out of the club, especially after Allardyce has mentioned more than once having a bloated but unbalanced squad of over thirty players.
“I think I’d wait until I see who comes in for who, rather than create speculation and have people guess who I’m going to let go, and create the rumours that are always created in December and January, this window.
“If a club approaches us for one of the players in the squad then we would have a discussion and take a view. If we would feel that is right for the club then we would ask the player if he would be willing to leave and accept the opportunity to go speak to the other club.
“That way would be a much better rather than speculate around who I’m going to let go and who I’m not because then they’ll know or feel that there’s no future for them here.
“Unless a player knocks on my door and says ‘Gaffer, you got to get me out of here’, nobody’s done that yet. When somebody does do that I would take a view on it and more than likely accept their view.”
So it appears we’re not going to hear too much about players leaving until we see who comes in first, of course unless some fringe players decide between now and January that they would rather be elsewhere.