Next up in our player by player review of the past Everton season, in which each individual will be recapped and rated is: Maarten Stekelenburg.
The veteran goalkeeper didn’t get too many opportunities to play behind the durable Jordan Pickford, featuring only twice in the EFL Cup.
Hard to judge him on those two games, I guess all I can say is that he made the saves he was expected to in those matches.
Stekelenburg will turn 37 early next season, and is entering the second and last year of his contract extension handed to him last summer.
In the two aforementioned games, the Blues beat Championship side Rotherham United 3-1 and then drew against Southampton 1-1, losing in the shootout after saving Matt Targett’s spotkick and seeing Richarlison and Theo Walcott miss.
Luckily the Toffees’ weren’t tested to see if Stekelenburg could still do well in a sustained run of games, but Marcel Brands and Marco Silva have already taken steps to ensure that the club are better placed should they have to do that this coming season with signing Jonas Lössl. The former Huddersfield Town goalie will be the backup for next season, leaving Stekelenburg to tussle with impressive Under-23’s keeper Joao Virginia.
The club leadership have some decisions to make at the goalkeeper position. Silva has been highly impressed with Virginia’s performances backstopping the Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title, but the youngster really needs to get some minutes playing senior level competitive football rather than sitting on the bench.
The manager meanwhile has also been very complimentary of Stekelenburg’s professionalism and attitude as he has supported Pickford throughout the season.
The path that makes the most sense is likely to have Stekelenburg as the third senior squad goalie this season to see out his contract, and loan out Virginia to the Championship where he can be the starter and keep playing regularly.
Not going to grade him on two games played.