With the record arrival of Jordan Pickford from Sunderland, it was only a matter of time before Everton shipped out a goalkeeper.
If reports in Spain are to be believed, it seems like that player will be Joel Robles rather than Maarten Stekelenburg.
The English translation is dodgy - at best - but given the circumstances, shipping out Robles makes sense for all parties. His career got started in Spain, and it’s likely he would be a more than capable shot-stopper for a club smaller than Everton.
The return of Joel Robles to La Liga is getting closer. The Everton goalkeeper, who last season played 20 games in the Premier League, will not continue in the English set. The Goodison Park club, with which the Madrid still has a year of contract, has offered him the renewal, obtaining a "no" in response to the former Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano.
There are several La Liga teams that have been interested in Spanish. Málaga, Deportivo, Las Palmas and, more recently, Getafe , have asked about their situation and have shown interest in returning to our country.
Robles put in a good shift during his time at Goodison Park, but never quite found a firm grasp on the starter’s shirt. The big Spaniard is capable of making some astounding saves, but is inconsistent. His positioning and distribution leave a lot to be desired, and so too is his decision making.
My colleague Adam summed up the situation well in this post from April:
First, Joel is 6 feet, 5 inches tall. Keepers are routinely over 6 feet tall, but 6 foot 5 is well above average in terms of Premier League goalkeeper size. That means that, if well-positioned, he can reach to make saves that shorter keepers wouldn’t even have a shot at.
Second, Joel is a good reflexive shot-stopper. By that I mean that, if well-positioned, he reacts to shots coming his way and gets some part of his body in front of it incredibly quickly, especially for such a large keeper. Often, keepers of his stature struggle to get their limbs in front of shots quickly – this isn’t usually an issue for Joel.
Joel is still only 26, still quite young in goalkeeper’s terms – his decision-making and positioning may improve over time. But Everton can no longer wait for that transformation to occur. The club’s margin for error in the hyper-competitive Premier League is too small to accept routine goalkeeping errors, and a new number 1 must be brought in over the summer as a result.
Joel Robles will be a fine buy for the likes of Getafe or Malaga. Huddersfield Town apparently made an inquiry as well, but Joel prefers a return to Spain, where he can reset his career and backstop a club without looking over his shoulder.
However, any fee received is likely to be minimal - buying clubs know that with Jordan Pickford on board, Everton don’t need Robles.
Hey, at least Maarten Stekelenburg can stick around to help Davy Klaassen adjust to England, I guess.