Morgan Schneiderlin is, all things considered, perhaps Everton’s most important player. He holds the side together, and is the main link between the Blues’ defenders and attack. An elite level distributor, the Frenchman is one of the best at his position in the Premier League.
Behind him, there is 36 year old Gareth Barry - and that’s it. “Gaz” clearly has lost a step, but still provides surprisingly good passing from midfield, as well as an ability to shield the back 4.
With that in mind, it’s with some hesitance, you’d assume, that Everton would be willing to sell their oldest player. However, that’s not stopped some teams from inquiring - including, per the Daily Mail and Mirror, Burnley and West Bromwich Albion.
Gareth Barry is a target for West Brom boss Tony Pulis as he steps up his search for Darren Fletcher’s replacement.
Pulis was gutted to lose the Scotland international’s tenacity and experience when he agreed to join Stoke on a free transfer this summer.
But he has identified Everton midfielder Barry as the man to fill the breach on the pitch and in the dressing room.
Burnley boss Sean Dyche is also keen on the former England star and has discussed taking him to Turf Moor on a season-long loan.Gareth Barry is a target for West Brom boss Tony Pulis as he steps up his search for Darren Fletcher’s replacement.
It seems implausible that Everton would allow someone of Barry’s age to be sent out on loan, so it’s likely that West Brom hold the edge over Burnley in any potential negotiations.
However, unless someone like Leander Dendoncker or Marcelo Brozovic is signed in the interim, the Blues selling Gareth Barry would probably be a significant mistake. The Toffees have no cover for Schneiderlin, and the midfielders in the youth team - Joe Williams, Kieran Dowell, et. al., are not similarly skilled.
Expect to see Gareth Barry on the bench when Everton open their Premier League season.