When we drew up our lists of players we expected to leave Everton this summer, they were very easily divided into two columns - high value players that would likely walk into most squads in any of the top five leagues, and high wage players that were past their prime and would likely need assistance walking out of Finch Farm.
Anthony Gordon was certainly not on either list.
During their pursuit of Richarlison, it was rumoured that Tottenham were asking that Anthony Gordon be part of that deal in some form or the other, whether it was a straight cash sale or else even a player swap plus cash coming the Toffees’ way. In the end while the Brazilian international did make the transfer for a reported fee of about £60 million, rumours continued to float that Spurs still wanted Gordon, even as a separate deal.
The number that was floated for the young England Under-21 international was an insulting £10m or so, but with the addendum that any remaining fees due for Dele Alli would also be removed. That amount could be anywhere from £10-40m depending on how many appearances the former Spurs players makes in Blue this season and beyond.
There had been consistent chatter though that there was another Premier League club also asking about Gordon, and now we know it’s Newcastle United looking to snatch the born Blue during this summer transfer window.
Newcastle are of course now flush with cash after their Saudi takeover last winter, and are looking to splash it around. The Magpies are looking to buy their way into the top six much like Everton did in the early years after Farhad Moshiri bought the club, and selling a talismanic player like Gordon would certainly strengthen a rival while simultaneously weakening a pipeline that is not necessarily pumping out large volumes of quality prospects.
On paper, £35m is actually incredibly good value for a player that still has quite a bit to work on. Despite his ability to get his head down and progress the ball, his end product is not quite there yet, whether it’s an accurate key pass or a shot on goal. Still, it’s more than money when it comes to Gordon. His homegrown status certainly makes him even more valuable and adds a premium to his pricetag.
The forward is as Everton as they come, and has been a true Blue since his boyhood. His attitude whenever he is on the pitch is one that should be lauded and indeed the other higher-paid and more-decorated professionals around him should take heed.
Frank Lampard is an avowed fan of the youngster and the two are often seen deep in conversation during games and in training. The Athletic goes on to report that the former England midfielder is ‘vehement’ that Gordon should not be sold, and most Evertonians will agree with that statement.
While £35m would certainly help Everton’s balance sheet issues, the blow to morale around the club in selling off a youngster bursting with potential would be telling in a most negative way. It is indeed possible that Gordon doesn’t rise to much more than the player he already is, and Everton could come to later regret thumbing their noses now at the offers coming their way. However, it is definitely worth holding on to him now so that he gets a full season of development under Lampard and then gauge what his ceiling could be.
As we learned with the transfer away of Richarlison, it doesn’t matter how much you love a club and if you bleed Blue or not, money will continue to talk loudest. But in Gordon’s case, Everton taking a firm stance gives them a chance to see what the 21-year-old can develop into.