With football’s return date still unknown amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we took some time to give our thoughts on whether 12 Everton players linked with post-season departures should be kept or moved on.
Not including Cuco Martina, Maarten Stekelenburg or Oumar Niasse, who it is universally agreed will surely leave following the expiry of their deals at the end of 2019-20, this shortlist was comprised of players who have endured tough campaigns, have been linked with moves away, or whose own contract is also up once this season concludes.
In the second of two parts, we looked at seven members of the Blues’ squad for whom the jury is out, including four midfielders, two wingers and one striker:
Position: Central midfielder Age: 21 Contract Expires: June 2023 Reason: Had another up-and-down season, still some way down midfield pecking order
Pete - Loan. His progress has stalled and it was a big black mark against Marco Silva that he refused to loan him out while simultaneously not giving him enough minutes to kick on. Get him out on loan to a Premier League side and see if he can take his game to the next level.
Zach - Loan. I want him to get a ton of minutes so he can figure out exactly what he is. No reason to sell, but he needs minutes that I’m not sure we can give next season.
Matt A - Stay. At this point, Davies should not be a consistent starter, but is serviceable as a bench option. He is still only 21 and has room to improve.
Matthew C - Loan. Feels like now or never for Davies. He should go either abroad or to another Premier League side for a season to have the chance to impress when given regular game time. Not sure he’ll get enough of that at Everton next term.
Adam - Go. I think we all recognise that there’s a need to upgrade at the centre of midfield, as Davies (and many others) just haven’t quite cut it. I’d have sent him out on loan last year or this year, but he’s now reaching an age and level of experience where that might not be an option. If teams came forward with reasonable offers for him, I’d be willing to listen to them.
Calvin - Loan. Still a youngster and needs to play regular minutes. Whether that’s in the Championship or in Germany, he needs to play to improve.
Brian L - Go. While Davies has the ‘Everton Homeguy that Runs Hard’ feel to him, too often he’s exposed, and he has a limited skill set. The midfield is where Everton need the most improvement and have the greatest capacity for improvement. That means making space, and Davies has to go.
Position: Central midfielder Age: 30 Contract Expires: June 2021 Reason: Arguably not played or impressed enough to justify his reported £100,000-a-week salary
Pete - Go. If anyone wants him, let him go.
Zach - Stay*. If we can find a truly good number six, I don’t mind selling him, but we’ve seen this year how badly we need central midfield depth.
Matt A - Go. He’s been bad from the moment he arrived. It’s time to finally end the Schneiderlin era at Everton.
Matthew C - Go. I want to like him, and he has been better in the more recent games under Carlo Ancelotti, but has let us down too many times and has burnt his bridges with a lot of fans. Plus, you can’t have a thirty-something on six-figure weekly salaries if they’re not guaranteed starters.
Adam - Go. I like Morgan more than most, but consistency has been a serious issue for him. Couple that with the general dissatisfaction large swathes of supporters have shown towards him and I think it’s clear a move away from Everton is the best choice for both parties.
Calvin - Stay. Toughest call for me here. You need at least five or six midfielders a season, and he’s good for a dozen games. However, his presence is also blocking a youngster from coming up from the under-23s, and there’s also the matter of his wages (third-highest in the squad).
Brian L - Go. Schneiderlin has done well at times and stepped in for André Gomes fairly well, but like Davies, I’d rather send him off and bring in a more capable back-up to Gomes; preferably someone with some speed.
Position: Central midfielder Age: 30 Contract Expires: June 2022 Reason: Disappointed in his first season at Everton, appears to have also fractured relationship with supporters
Pete - Go. I thought this was a shrewd signing last summer but he’s been a big disappointment and seems to bring a negative energy to the club. Like Schneiderlin - if anyone wants him, let him go.
Zach - Go. Brings nothing to the table in midfield and we don’t need him at left-back. Should never have been signed.
Matt A - Go. Off-field antics aside, Delph hasn’t added anything to this squad.
Matthew C - Go. Initially liked the idea of him joining, for both his quality and his experience. He hasn’t shown much of either and has lost his head too often. Waste of time and money.
Adam - Stay*. Say what you will about Davies and Schneiderlin, Delph has been the worst of the three. In theory, I don’t want to see him anywhere near the first team at this point. In practice, he’d probably be hard to move. If we assume Schneiderlin or Davies depart, it seems most likely Delph would stay as a depth option.
Calvin - Go. This gamble has not paid off for me. Not seeing any of the leadership or playmaking we had hoped to get. Doubt we get rid of both Schneiderlin and Delph, though with their wages, won’t be surprised if Marcel Brands wants to offload both.
Brian L - Stay. Mainly because of his mentality from his time at Manchester City. And while I don’t love his play, I think he could be a useful squad player in the midfield that will push players in training.
Position: Winger Age: 27 Contract Expires: June 2022 Reason: Still an Everton regular but has struggled with end product throughout his time at the club, recently linked with moves
Pete - Stay. A unique, creative player that can help us unlock tight games. Definitely keep unless a silly bid comes in (£35 million+).
Zach - Stay. He’s fun, he works hard, he has a role. Easy decision.
Matt A - Stay. Bernard is Everton’s perfect spark plug. He can run his guts out for the first 60 minutes of a match or come in as a super-sub late in games. He is the kind of player Everton need.
Matthew C - Stay. But although I like him and greatly enjoy watching him, I would consider selling if a reasonable bid came in. Everton would make 100 per cent profit given he was a free transfer, and could conceivably get someone who delivers at least the same number of goals and assists as Bernard for a fraction of his enormous wages.
Adam - Stay. A definite keeper. I’m not sure I want to see him starting every week, but he’s a good spot-starter and excellent option off the bench.
Calvin - Stay. No issues whatsoever with him.
Brian L - Stay. Primarily based on his ability to provide a spark, and needing to keep some bodies around for the wings. I could have him leave, but he’d need a direct replacement and I’m not sure that’s realistic when we’d need to replace him as well as Theo Walcott.
Position: Attacking midfielder Age: 30 Contract Expires: June 2022 Reason: Endured a dreadful season, lost his pace, turned 30 in October
Pete - Go. Passenger. Certainly shouldn’t be starting much next season if he is still around.
Zach - Go. He’s not a number eight. If we are going to keep up with 4-4-2, we don’t need him at his wages.
Matt A - Go. Sigurðsson was never going to live up to his price tag, but still had some good moments for Everton. But he appears to be regressing and now may be the time to move on.
Matthew C - Go. Everton’s worst player by some distance this season. Can no longer offer anything because his legs have totally given way. Such a disappointing signing.
Adam - Stay. I’d be willing to move on from Sigurðsson for the right price, in the right situation. But I think the reality is that the centre of midfield needs so much work that selling the most creative player of the bunch just might not make sense. I’d look for Everton to keep him, but in a reduced role.
Calvin - Stay. This is all dependent on which transfer signings Brands and Ancelotti make over the summer, as the formation next season will get built off that.
Brian L - Go. Sigurðsson has really dropped off, and if there is any use left for him, it requires tooling the entire team around his skill set. Unfortunately, even then, it exposes a lot of liability for the squad. Cut our losses at this point and bring in some more dynamic attacking midfielders.
Position: Winger Age: 31 Contract Expires: June 2021 Reason: Improved since Ancelotti’s arrival but has generally underwhelmed since joining Everton
Pete - Go. See my thoughts on Sigurðsson.
Zach - Stay. I don’t necessarily want him to be our starter on the right flank next year but he’s been great under Ancelotti.
Matt A - Stay. He is far from the player he used to be, but his speed can still be a useful weapon. As far as depth goes, Walcott is a solid option.
Matthew C - Go. There are a fair few players Everton need to get rid of more urgently than Walcott, but he hasn’t done enough for me and isn’t going to get any better given his age. Earning too much money to be a fringe player, too.
Adam - Go. I really want to like Walcott, and he’s done a lot of very good things this year. But the reality is that his final product has been missing, and his play style is such that he needs to be scoring goals to be successful. If Everton can find a similar, younger player in the market, I’d be fine with him leaving.
Calvin - Go. High wages will be a stumbling block, but this is yet another top six cast-off that couldn’t get a second lease of life at the Toffees. We have to sign a starting-quality right winger/midfielder in the summer.
Brian L - Go. I think Walcott gets some unfair stick because of his spectacular misses, but with the general lack of attacking competence from right-back this year, we need a more composed winger to help create opportunities, especially if Richarlison stays in the middle. One thing we do need to ensure, though, is that any replacement has Walcott’s ability to track back; something that isn’t always noticed.
Position: Striker Age: 28 Contract Expires: June 2022 Reason: Ten goals in 51 appearances, on loan at Crystal Palace for rest of season, Everton seem happy to sell, but could be out until September with ligament injury
Pete - Go. A proper centre-forward but just not at Everton’s level.
Zach - Go. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is great and Richarlison works well with him up top. Moise Kean needs more minutes. Just nowhere for Tosun to be.
Matt A - Go. He’s basically halfway out of the door at this point. Tosun has never succeeded for Everton and likely never will.
Matthew C - Go. Our only manager whose style of play seemed to suit him was Sam Allardyce, ironically. Since then he’s looked out of place; another not helped by a total absence of pace. Nice man but not Everton’s man. Suspect he knows this, too.
Adam - Go. I’ve always liked Tosun, but with Richarlison playing primarily at striker now, he’s pretty clearly fourth on the depth chart at striker. He’s going to have to recover from his injury before he can leave, but I can’t see a way back for him at Everton at this point.
Calvin - Stay. His wages are cost-controlled at £60,000, and if Richarlison drops back into a wing role then Calvert-Lewin, Kean and Tosun is a reasonable striking trio. If Richarlison stays up top because we sign a starting winger, then Tosun is expendable.
Brian L - Stay. I think Tosun would play a lot better in our current lineup as a backup to Calvert-Lewin, or even Richarlison up top if needed. Tosun had a lot of success with us early when he had people nearby to play off. I think a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 with an attacking midfielder that can move at a fast walk would improve his play for us. Even if it is for just a year, it could help bump up his sale value.
Which of these seven would you keep and get rid of? Let us know in the comments...