Each team spends parts of the summer ‘trimming the fat’ of their squad to ease the financial burden incurred by transfers. As a result, players on the fringes seek playing time elsewhere.
Here is a look at how the players who were sold or left on free transfers by Everton last summer fared in 2020-21.
Morgan Schneiderlin (Nice)
Appearances - 35, Goals - 0, Assists - 0, Yellow Cards - 11, Red Cards - 1
After 12 years in England, Schneiderlin finally returned to his home nation, joining OGC Nice. The 31-year-old spent most of the season as the team’s first-choice six but occasionally missed out to either Khéphren Thuram or Hicham Boudaoui.
The Frenchman logged an impressive 2.35 clearances and a respectable 1.56 interceptions per 90, but he accumulated 11 yellow cards and one red, making him a defensive liability on the pitch at times. Nice finished the season in ninth place with a minus-three goal difference. The former Toffee was serviceable in France’s top league.
Kieran Dowell (Noriwch)
Appearances - 26, Goals - 6, Assists - 1, Yellow Cards - 1, Red Cards - 0
Dowell started half of the 24 league appearances he made for Norwich as the Canaries won the Championship and earned promotion back to the Premier League after a one-year hiatus.
Operating as a number ten, Dowell contributed five goals and one assist in the club’s promotion bid. Following four loan spells away from Goodison, it was clear Dowell did not have a future with the Blues, so it was nice to see the academy graduate earn a bit of silverware.
Sandro Ramírez (Huesca)
Appearances - 20, Goals - 5, Assists - 1, Yellow Cards - 2, Red Cards - 0
One of Ronald Koeman’s worst signings, Sandro never scored in a league fixture for the Toffees, was sent out on loan three different times and overall contributed next to nothing on Merseyside.
Back in Spain, the 25-year-old somewhat rediscovered his scoring touch, netting five times for Huesca. Suiting up for a side that eventually would get relegated — Huesca finished 18th in La Liga — Sandro will look to improve his goal-scoring numbers in Spain’s second tier next season.
Maarten Stekelenburg (Ajax)
Appearances - 21, Goals Against - 12, Wins - 18, Losses - 0, 79 per cent save rate
Most of Stekelenburg’s minutes came after Ajax's first-choice goalkeeper Andre Onana was given a one-year ban in February for testing positive for an illegal substance.
A reliable and experienced shot-stopper, Stekelenburg helped the Dutch giants win their 35th Eredivisie title. Selected to the Netherlands national team for this summer’s Euros, Stekelenburg proved he can still be effective between the sticks, even in the twilight years of what has been a lengthy career.
Luke Garbutt (Blackpool)
Appearances - 38, Goals - 4, Assists - 5, Yellow Cards - 4, Red Cards - 0
The third former Evertonian to win silverware this season, Garbutt featured 38 times as the Blackpool won the League One play-offs.
After scoring four goals and providing five assists as the Seasiders’ first-choice left back, the 28-year-old will test his mettle in the Championship next season. While he may not have been able to hack it at Everton, Garbutt was one of League One’s top full-backs during the 2020-21 campaign.
Also of Note...
Oumar Niasse joined Huddersfield Town in March 2021 as a free agent but was injured and ruled out for the rest of the season without playing.
Shani Tarashaj joined FC Zürich U21 in Switzerland’s third tier in April, playing five games with one goal before disappearing from the squad.
Cuco Martina remains out of football and is not associated with any clubs, although he is reportedly considering a move to the MLS.