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Everton 2022-23 Season Review: End of Contract Departures

Blues decision makers must consider what to do with players nearing an end to their current contracts

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Mina causing havoc in the opposition box during one of his final appearances for Everton
Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Now the dust has cleared and the Blues have, once again escaped the dreaded drop, we can begin to cast an eye about, take stock and make best efforts to avoid another repeat of the exact same situation we, as fans have been suffering through over - well, pretty much the entire season. Before we can consider the urgent need to bring in new talent in order to boost what is, if we’re being charitable, a stunningly mediocre outfit, first we should be taking a look at what we have available.

Subsequently, I will be examining the players we have under contract that the club may, or should, in my opinion be looking to move on out, but in this article I’ll specifically address those whose contracts will be expiring before the end of June. Note, that some have already made public announcements, or at least hinted as to their future plans, but out of completion I’ll be including them regardless.

Andy Lonergan

signed August 21st 2021

The 39-year old has not been used in competitive action since joining almost two years ago, but was signed essentially as an emergency backup; mercifully, the goalkeeper has not been needed in that capacity. The stopper is apparently well thought of at Finch Farm and is on a minimal contract, so it’s quite possible that he’ll be offered an extension. If Everton intend to carry on the recently established - if slightly bizarre - tradition of including two ‘keepers on the bench for matches, then offering the veteran a new deal could be beneficial.

Verdict: Retain

Asmir Begovic

signed July 20th 2021

The Bosnian only kept goal for a total of 270 minutes for Everton last term and just once in the Premier League, a decline from the seven appearances in all competitions he posted the previous season. He turns 36 later in the month and whilst a capable backup option, it’s debatable whether the rumoured £45k per week the club pays him presents value for money at this stage. The goalkeeping situation at the Blues may well be up in the air should serious offers manifest for starter, Jordan Pickford and it appears, going off the tone of Begovic’s recent social media posts that he will not be offered a new contract.

Verdict: Release


Andros Townsend

signed July 20th 2021

Brought in by Rafa Benitez, the winger got off to an encouraging start under his former boss, contributing to five league goals as the Toffees started the campaign in fine form, prior to hitting the skids in dramatic fashion during the Autumn. He was relegated to spot duty after Frank Lampard’s arrival but suffered a devastating anterior cruciate ligament injury on March 20th 2022, during Everton’s 4-0 FA Cup humbling to Crystal Palace. Other than a 45-minute run out for the under-21s in May this year, he hasn’t kicked a ball since.

A solid character and competent player before the knee injury, it is questionable what he has left to offer at top level following such an extended spell on the sidelines. Turning 32 in July, by the time the new campaign kicks off in August, Townsend will not have played competitive senior football in 17 months.

Verdict: Release

Townsend making perhaps his final appearance for the Toffees in March last year
Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Seamus Coleman

signed January 1st 2009

The long-serving stalwart has been on the verge of being replaced as a starter since suffering a leg break back in 2017. Due to the comedy act that constitutes forward planning at Everton, we are now at the same point, apparently treading water more than six years on. The Irishman did amazingly well to overcome such a major injury at a relatively advanced stage of his career, but he unquestionably has lost something subsequently, certainly in offensive terms. Last season, the veteran upped his game somewhat, enjoying a better than anticipated campaign, until it was ended by what initially appeared to be a serious knee injury in early May.

With prior muscular problems, Coleman only managed to play 45 minutes from Everton’s last eight league games. Now 34, it appears probable that the club will offer an extension, which can only be a stop-gap measure, in order to retain some depth in the right back position.

Verdict: Retain

Everton FC v Brentford FC - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Conor Coady

on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers until June 30th

The Toffees have elected not to activate an option to purchase the defender for approximately £4.5m, following a season-long loan. The Liverpool native initially impressed, showing leadership qualities and adding organisation to the Blues backline, but as time progressed and the shot count faced by Everton with him in the lineup continued to be alarmingly large, deficiencies in his game became apparent.

A lack of pace, agility and an unwillingness -or inability - to engage one-on-one may have been acceptable in a back three system, but in a back four he looked vulnerable, which is the reason Wolves considered him surplus to requirements. Sean Dyche moved him out of the starting team and one look at his defensive metrics indicates why: Coady sits in the bottom fourth percentile, or lower in aerial duels, tackles and interceptions in top European leagues.

Verdict: Release

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Yerry Mina

signed for €30.3m from Barcelona August 9th, 2018

The big Colombian has departed, ending his five-year stint at the club. A key player when fit, availability has always been the major issue for the defender, who suited up just eight times during the last campaign and 14 the previous season due to a variety of injuries. At 28 and commanding a wage estimated at £120k per week, it made no sense to offer him a new deal, even on reduced terms. Looking at Mina’s defensive metrics however, in addition to the threat he offers on set-pieces and it is clear what Everton are losing at the back and this will need to be addressed during the transfer window.

Verdict: Release

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton FC - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Tom Davies

The academy product has racked up 155 league appearances for the Blues since breaking through into the senior setup in 2016, as a 17-year old. Back then there was much excitement surrounding Tom, but somewhere on the way it just didn’t happen for him and his progression flatlined. Even as recently as the 2020-21 campaign, Davies played 25 league matches under Carlo Ancelotti, starting 17 of them, but since the Italian’s departure he’s faded in relevance, not helped by a tendency to pick up injuries.

Last season, he started just four league games, accruing a total of 538 minutes. On June 30th, the day his contract expires, Davies turns 25 and it is still unclear what level he is at as a player. It is apparent, as it has been for some time that his race is done at Everton and it would be in the midfielder’s best interests to move on.

Verdict: Release

Hull City v Everton - Premier League
Davies in a league match for the Blues back in 2016
Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Ruben Vinagre

on loan from Sporting CP until June 30th

Once per year, Everton bring in a player on loan that has little to no effect and this year it was the turn of the unfortunate Portuguese. After showing some promise at Wolves, the left back spent the 2020-21 season farmed out on loan, before a disastrous permanent return to his homeland the following year, where he bombed out rapidly at Sporting CP. Still, he looked a reasonable loan pickup for the Toffees last summer, providing low-cost cover and competition for Vitalii Mykolenko. That’s how it seemed, but a pair of EFL Cup starts and a combined 24 minutes across two substitute appearances in the league, both back in August tell a different story.

Just how bad was Vinagre, anyway? In the brief glimpses we had of him, he seemed defensively suspect and physically maybe not too robust, but appeared technically solid and decent going forward. Could he have been given more opportunities? On the evidence that exists, there is no way to know for sure. Needless to say, the club will not be exercising an option to buy that was part of the loan deal. Having researched the 24 year old for this piece and a couple of others, at least I can say that I may recognize him if passing in the street, which is surely more than most Blues fans. Adios, Ruben, we knew you not at all.

Verdict: Release

AFC Bournemouth v Everton - Carabao Cup Third Round
Blink and you’ll miss him, but yes Vinagre did indeed spend a season as an Everton player
Photo by Robin Jones - AFC Bournemouth/AFC Bournemouth via Getty Images

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