After a tough season that saw Everton with a chance at European football going into the final weekend of the season, the Toffees now need to rebound with both a new manager, as well as additional reinforcements in their playing squad.
Yet while the team needs to bring new players in, they’ll also have to ship players out. It will be a mixed bag of some old names that we’ve become accustomed to seeing on the loan or transfer list, young players who might need more experience, or disappointing signings who simply haven't been able to get their Everton careers off the ground.
The Toffees’ potential transfer departures feature names you know, names you’re tired of hearing, and names that you have yet to hear enough to this point.
Gone for Good
Four will see their wages come off of the Everton books when July hits, including Yannick Bolasie, Joshua King, Theo Walcott and Muhamed Besic; Robin Olsen, meanwhile, will be heading back to AS Roma to see if Jose Mourinho has any use for him.
Bolasie was never really able to get it going as a Toffee after his unfortunate knee injury, and has spent years simply being loaned out across Europe and England. He has always been gracious and supportive despite his lack of contribution and so, as with all of the players of course, we wish him only the best in his future endeavours.
King will likely find suitors elsewhere, yet it will not be with the Toffees. At Everton, whether he simply did not impress upon his arrival or whether Carlo Ancelotti did not fancy him in the first instance is neither here nor there at this point; his stint was forgettable and he will have to show that he still has the ability he showed at Bournemouth if he wishes to continue playing at a reasonably high level at 29.
Walcott was another player who fell out of fashion quickly after arriving on Merseyside. For him, this was also due in part to injuries, yet at Southampton, for whom he has re-signed permanently after a loan spell this season, he may still be highly capable of putting together solid numbers. Walcott, 32, played fairly well for Southampton this season when fit and will hope to continue being in and around the Saints side.
Besic, last seen playing in a Sheffield United kit some time ago, might not have even been remembered as being on the payroll still by some, and will surely make a greater impact wherever he next ventures off to.
Olsen, meanwhile, had some ups and downs during his time at Goodison Park. He played well at times, and earned points for the team to the best of his ability when called upon. At 31, I’m sure he offered advice to each of his younger colleagues like Jordan Pickford, which Mourinho himself might find appealing when the player returns to Roma.
The Disappointments and Outcasts
The players that I have suspected would be sold are Bernard, Alex Iwobi, Andre Gomes, Fabian Delph and Moise Kean.
Each player finds themselves here for markedly different reasons of course; Bernard has not been able to carve himself into a consistent role in the team and has been good for only a few goals; the club will enjoy the wages and squad place his departure would leave them with.
Iwobi has fell really below expectations since being bought from Arsenal by Marco Silva in the 2019 summer transfer window. But Ancelotti, despite his prodding and pleading, was unable to draw the talent out of Iwobi that had flashed under both Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery. No matter if on the wing or in the middle of the pitch, Iwobi simply did not look comfortable for the majority of the season, and while a few games stand as the exception to this rule, a few games does not a season make.
Gomes is another player that feels like he should be doing more for the team with his talent and Barcelona pedigree, yet his passing and ball handling frustrated many this season. Yet watching him was better than watching Delph, who looks nothing like he did when under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. While each is defensive-minded in spirit, neither provided much in regards to that in comparison to Allan or even Tom Davies.
As for Kean, who spent the season with Paris Saint-Germain in France, rumours persist that Paris-St. Germain would like to re-sign him next term, be it on loan or permanently. The temptation to reap some financial boon from a very gifted young player is likely going to prove more tantalising than a payday deferred.
Might Ellis Simms find a place in the rotation during early Cup ties? What about Jarrad Branthwaite, Lewis Gibson, Niels Nkounkou or Jonjoe Kenny along the back line? While a backup keeper has been on the transfer target lists of many pundits after the return of Olsen to Roma, could Joao Virginia be that backup?
The Everton youth are interesting and full of potential; they are also not necessarily all ready to contribute to first team football yet, either. Out of these six, I see it least likely that Kenny adds any depth or accountability for us, and so will likely be sold or loaned out again, with Gibson a candidate for another loan as well.
Jarrad Branthwaite could see another loan to continue netting him first team experience away from Merseyside or could feature for the under-23s in case injury forces the new boss’ hand. The other three, Nkounkou, Simms and Virginia, might not see consistent time on the first team squad, but should not be loaned away this year, as all could prove competent back-ups in areas of the pitch where Everton are not exactly spoilt for choice.
Simms’ campaign this year in particular was impressive; between his time with the Everton U-23’s and Blackpool he managed 18 goals and two assists. While he is still only 20, there is no reason why he should not be on Merseyside in some capacity moving forward, especially with the advent of so many young stars around the world.