With the summer transfer window upon us, it’s a good time to ask if Everton need to review what they have on their hands first and foremost before casting envious glances elsewhere as far as players to add to the squad.
In the first part yesterday, we reviewed five Everton midfielders who could all be either sold, kept or extended. Today, in the second instalment we look at Everton’s forward ranks where despite having numbers, the Blues simply have not gotten any decent scoring or goal creation from over the last few years now.
The Royal Blue Mersey crew got together to discuss whether the Toffees should Keep, Extend or Sell a list of ten players whose names often come up in transfer chatter. Below are the players in question with their current ages and when their contracts expire, starting today with the midfielders and we’ll look at the forwards tomorrow.
James Rodriguez 29 years old, contract ends 2022
Matthew: Keep. Everton are infinitely a greater attacking threat with him on the pitch. Would not rush into activating his one-year extension option yet due to how injury-prone he is, but certainly wouldn’t sell him unless he desperately wants to go.
Pat: Keep - If he wants to stay, Everton should definitely hang onto him. I don’t think he will stay as it seems that other clubs are looming, but I’d hope Everton can try their best to keep him by bringing in some exciting talent (and a big name manager) to convince him to stay.
Pete: Keep. We’ve never had a player like him before and even if his attitude is questionable, he can win a game from nothing. Obviously if someone wants to throw a good chunk of cash at us we should sell as he’s not going to be with us for the long-term anyway.
Tom: Keep, but it’s all down to him. If he wants to stay and is committed, then you have to keep him. James is by far and away our most gifted player. But with his mentor Ancelotti now back in Spain, I would not be surprised if he wants to join him.
Brian L: Extend. I think another 2-year deal would be nice given his contributions and how critical he is when healthy.
Trent: Keep. Without a big name boss, it will be hard to keep a player who is alright with leaving, yet his talent is noticeable and losing him would hurt even if we netted a profit from him.
Ian: Extend. This seems like a no-brainer, right? James gives Everton a different complexion going forward. The question isn’t whether or not the Toffees should bring him back. What we really should be asking is does the Colombian want to return to Goodison at all?
Calvin: Keep. If he wants to stay, certainly a player we can keep. As long as we are only planning that he plays half or less of our games next season, because relying on him to get 30+ games a season is foolish.
Bernard 28 years old, contract ends 2022
Matthew: Sell. Lovely footballer and human being, but his end product’s never been consistent enough and like Sigurdsson, he’s on too much money to use sparingly from the bench. Really lost his way in the last 12 months or so.
Pat: Sell. No place in the squad and a waste of space.
Pete: Sell. Again, if a decent bid comes in for him, let’s take it. If not, he’ll get a few minutes from the bench.
Tom: Sell. He arrived on a free so any transfer fee would be good for the bottom line. Showed his talent in glimpses but far too inconsistent and I’m not sure he is really suited to the Premier League.
Brian L: Sell. I’m not sure what he does, and with his age and expiring contract may as well try to get him off the books a year early.
Trent: Sell. Easy call; no production and no passion out on the field or practice pitch
Ian: Sell. Nothing against Bernard, but his skillset — scrappy player with a decent touch — is easily replaceable, and he hasn’t exactly lit Merseyside ablaze since joining from Shakhtar several summers ago.
Calvin: Sell. Just not physically capable of playing in the Premier League.
Alex Iwobi 25 years old, contract ends 2024
Matthew: Sell. I have no idea what kind of footballer Iwobi is and I’ve watched him almost every week for the last two seasons now. Looked a strange signing at first and has transpired as much.
Pat: Keep. Similar to Bernard, but I think he deserves one more season before giving him the boot.
Pete: Keep. If we don’t find another RB this summer, I’d like to see if the new manager could mould him into a RWB like Conte did with Victor Moses at Chelsea. If anyone’s crazy enough to throw £20m+ at us, I’d snap their hand off, though.
Tom: Sell. Another expensive disappointment. I have a degree of sympathy because he is often shunted across different positions. But he has had more than enough opportunities to prove himself and has failed to do so.
Brian L: Keep. We have so many other needs and Iwobi’s age and contract put him in a good spot to sit pat for at least another season.
Trent: Keep/Sell. The disappointing former Arsenal man has struggled as well since moving up north. The Nigerian is still young enough, but needs a change of scenery or a new boss right away; should he stay or go? Likely sold, but could still remain for the right new boss
Ian: Keep. Iwobi can be effective in one position: right wing. Having a dominant right foot allows the Nigerian to deliver crosses from the flank or drive the end line, and the 25-year-old showed flashes last season. If he stays with the club, I beg the next manager never to deploy him as a wing back.
Calvin: Sell. Iwobi has been a test of patience at his last two clubs now including the Toffees, and still isn’t making that breakthrough we’re all waiting for.
Richarlison 24 years old, contract ends 2024
Matthew: Keep. Wasn’t great this season but sure he’ll come around again. Though, I’d be considerably less bothered about him leaving than, say, Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Lucas Digne.
Pat: Keep. Had a bit of an off season, but I would love to hold onto Richy.
Pete: Extend. He’s our most valuable player and this isn’t the summer to get top value for your star players. Try and tie him down to a new contract if possible (perhaps in exchange for letting him play at the Olympics, like he wishes).
Tom: Keep. This is a difficult one. He is no doubt one of our most talented players and clearly has ambitions to play at the top of the European game. But after a below-par season and the pandemic hitting European finances, is there a club out there who can afford him this summer? I doubt it, which means we will keep him for at least another year, but a big decision about his future will need to be made in the summer of 2022.
Brian L: Extend. While we don’t need to extend him, it would help with a future transfer fee.
Trent: Keep. The piece I recently wrote on Richarlison explores this question a bit as well. The form he has shown while on national team duty, along with the attitude he showed during the club season, gives the impression that he might need a new home too. He is simply too good however and so must be held onto and built around for as long as possible.
Ian: Keep. Another player who might be hard to keep around, Richy wants to play in Europe, and he won’t get that with the Blues for at least another season. Despite being a wildly inconsistent player, you can tell when the Brazilian isn’t on the pitch and not in a good way.
Calvin: Keep. Richarlison had a down year that had many doubting whether he could make the step up to elite level or not. Everton do run the risk of him having a monster year next season after which it will be very difficult to tie him down to a new contract.
Moise Kean 21 years old, contract ends 2024
Matthew: Sell. If he wants to leave, that is. Which is a bit of a cop-out answer, I know, but I see no point in retaining footballers who have no interest in playing for your club. I suspect Everton will never get as much money for Kean again than they would this summer on the back of his successful PSG loan, either.
Pat: Keep. I’ve wanted Moise Kean to succeed at Everton (as I’m sure all supporters did) ever since he joined. Would love to see him have another go (if he’s not in France or Italy by then).
Pete: Sell. His stock is high right now so let’s cash in if possible.
Tom: Sell. Another extremely talented player who struggled to settle. I’d love to see him come back and be a success but I just can’t see it. With finances tight he is certainly a leading contender to sell on this summer in order to spend elsewhere. Rumours of another loan move don’t make sense - I’d rather he be back at Goodison than that, unless there is a guaranteed sale clause at the end of it.
Brian L: Keep. With what he’s done at PSG you have to try to keep him, but if he wants to go you sell high.
Trent: Sell. I wish he could remain and be used yet I doubt he would wish to remain in the north of England. Should the proper coach convince him then for sure, he should remain, yet otherwise, the profit from selling him will surely dull the pain however
Ian: Sell. How many of Moise Kean’s 13 goals in League 1 this past season were due to him playing as the number nine for PSG? Probably a fair few. This is the perfect time to cash in on a player who will never come close to replicating last season’s goal-scoring form in a Blue jersey.
Calvin: Keep. The Blues need young, quality players to get better, and Kean checks both those boxes. He might not want to be here, but he was convinced to come to Merseyside to begin with, so it’s on Marcel Brands and the new manager to show him he still has a role at Everton.