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Everton send veteran defender out on loan

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Ashley Williams goes to Stoke City in the Championship for the season

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

Everton continue to purge their squad of underperforming players with just days to go before the transfer window closes.

The Blues have sent Ashley Williams to Stoke City on a loan deal for the rest of the season, and with his contract expiring in the summer of 2019, it’s more than likely he will not play for the Toffees again.

Williams was one of four players banished from training with the rest of the squad by manager Marco Silva - Kevin Mirallas, Cuco Martina and Nikola Vlasic are the others.

The Wales international captain played in 73 games since joining the Blues in the summer of 2016, scoring thrice and assisting another three goals. While he started decently enough, his performances deteriorated rapidly, as did his discipline, and after being sent off against Burnley the soon-to-be 34-year-old did not play for Everton again.

This move leaves the Toffees with just three recognized centrehalves in the squad - captain Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane and Mason Holgate, and we can expect Marcel Brands to add at least one if not two more players before the transfer window closes next Thursday.