Everton boss Frank Lampard says Anthony Gordon is “going nowhere” despite reported interest in the England U21 forward.
Financial pressures and the need to meet profit and sustainability targets has already led to the departure of Richarlison to Tottenham this summer, but it seems Everton will not be forced into selling another key player to balance the books.
Spurs reportedly tried to include Gordon in the deal for Richarlison, who ended up moving to London for an initial £60m, while Newcastle are apparently willing to splash out around £35m for the 21-year-old.
That has understandably got Evertonians jittery, especially as the club has yet to spend any cash this summer (bar James Tarkowski’s free transfer), but Lampard was clear about his plans for Gordon.
“He’s going nowhere. He’s our player and that was a hugely-important thing to me, he’s the sort of player we want to build to go forward with.”
Those words will come as a huge relief to Everton fans and should hopefully mean there will be no more major outgoings this window, with the focus instead switching to incomings.
The importance of Gordon to Everton has been highlighted by his switch in squad number from 24 to 10.
The significance of the change is not lost on the Toffees boss:
“He’s worked for it. You have to earn the number 10.
“I understand this desire for numbers with players. I was fortunate, I kind of fell into a number eight in my career.
“I didn’t go searching for it but I understand how it can feel important to you. But I absolutely feel now, especially with the 10 because it has a little bit of magic to it, a bit of flair, and Anthony’s got that.
“He has it in his own style. I’ve said to him, I don’t want him to try and think he’s doing pirouettes on the halfway line now.”
That was the carrot, now the stick.
While last season was a breakout season for Gordon, yielding four goals and two assists, Lampard has challenged him to deliver more.
“We need him doing what he was doing last year plus goals plus assists which Anthony is so hungry to do. But he’s earned it absolutely and he’s a link to the crowd, a link to the fans, a local boy who gives everything, a great talent.
“I’m delighted that he’s got his number 10 but now I want him to continue to earn it.”