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Four players axed from Everton training

Marco and Marcel swing the axe as new season approaches

Brighton and Hove Albion v Everton - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

With exactly a week to go until the transfer window closes, Marco Silva looks to be stepping up his efforts to reshape the squad.

Lucas Digne became the club’s second summer signing yesterday but outgoings are just as important given the bloated nature of the squad.

Reports this morning suggest the futures of at least four first-team players have already been decided.

The ever-reliable Paul Joyce claims that Ashley Williams, Kevin Mirallas, Cuco Martina and Nikola Vlasic have all been told to stay away from the first-team squad.

It’s a deliciously ruthless move by Silva and director of football Marcel Brands, with few supporters likely to have many complaints.

Williams has declined sharply over the past 12 months and looks to be on his way to Stoke on loan for the final year of his contract. Mirallas is a known trouble maker, having fallen out with every manager he’s worked with at Goodison Park. While Martina seems honest enough but just isn’t up to the standard required.

The only real surprise is Vlasic, who is still just 20 and showed flashes of potential last season. However, there appeared to be no plan of where to play him when he joined late last August and so struggled to nail down a regular first-team place. He is unlikely to make the first-team again this campaign so a loan move would be best for all parties.

Bury v Everton - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Given the size of Everton’s squad Silva can afford to drop all four players without leaving himself short. The only exception is centre back but Everton continue to be linked with defenders so I expect Williams’ departure will be swiftly followed by new arrivals.

It also suggests the likes of Sandro Ramirez and Morgan Schneiderlin do have futures at the club after all. Either that or they can be trusted to train properly even if their futures are up in the air.

We always said it would take more than one window to undo the mistakes made last summer. But with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen and Ramiro Funes Mori already on their way with Williams and Mirallas to follow, Silva is off to an encouraging start.