Nine senior players left Everton during the last campaign, or in the run up to it. Of those, one - Fabian Delph - surprisingly retired at the relatively young age of 32, although the midfielder had spent much of his three year spell on Merseyside sidelined with various injuries. The other, Gylfi Sigurdsson was released by the club last July 1st, having not kicked a ball since May the previous year, though the 33-year old now appears poised to sign for MLS outfit DC United, helmed by former Toffees teammate Wayne Rooney.
Here we take a look at how each of the other seven fared last term.
Sold to Tottenham Hotspur for €58m
The hugely popular Brazilian ended his four year stay on Merseyside with a move to Spurs on June 30th - just in time for the large fee the club received to be included in the 2021/22 accounting period, preventing a certain breach of the Premier League’s Profitability and Sustainability regulations. Much of Everton’s subsequent transfer activity that summer was funded by the sale of the team’s star man. By now a regular in his national side, Richarlison had given the Blues four seasons, 135 league league appearances (scoring 43 goals), but finishes of eighth, 12th, tenth and finally 16th were never going to be enough to assuage the player’s ambition.
The 25-year old had been linked in the past to elite European sides such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG, so an eventual move to Spurs, whilst offering the Champions League football that the forward desired, was slightly surprising. With Harry Kane an ever-present in the central striker position that Richarlison favoured, it appeared probable that he’d be forced to play wide and so it proved. The former Blue netted twice in his European debut, against Marseille, but had to wait until the end of April to do so in the league. Injuries before and after a strong performance at the World Cup, during which he scored three times, disrupted his domestic campaign, which never really got going as a result.
In the end, Richarlison made 35 appearances in all competitions, with 17 starts, scoring three goals and providing four assists; not numbers that he will be happy with. Spurs slumped to an eighth-placed finish, missing out on Continental qualification.
Sold to Newcastle United for €45m
Following on from a breakout season in 2021-22 where the academy youngster had unexpectedly emerged from nowhere to become an almost every game starter, Gordon attracted a lot of interest last summer. Although his numbers (four goals and two assists in 35 league appearances) were nothing to write home about, his youth and raw attributes caught the eye of Spurs and Chelsea, though a bid from the latter and an enquiry from the former were knocked back by the Toffees. Frank Lampard had put a lot of trust in the then 21-year old and his initial form seemed to justify that belief, with the Liverpool native scoring twice in the opening five matches.
The rejection of Chelsea’s approach unsettled the winger, however and though he stayed at Everton until the final week of January, his head had been turned, so it was no surprise when he pushed for a move to Newcastle following their bid. On Tyneside, he struggled to break into what had become a very strong, cohesive unit under boss Eddie Howe, managing only four starts from sixteen outings, scoring just once. The Magpies are in the Champions League next season, so Gordon will have chances to impress, but with the side sure to strengthen he will need to take his opportunities.
Free transfer to Al-Wahda FC
A key first team member since his arrival from Napoli in 2020, the tenacious midfielder saw a reduction in playing time down the stretch during his second season, dwindling to one nine-minute substitute appearance over the last five matches. This odd absence led to speculation that the highly-paid Brazilian may be sold in the offseason, as part of the club’s ongoing efforts to reduce a burgeoning wage bill, and so it proved. Last summer, the 31-year old - on whom Everton had splashed more than €24m only two years earlier - was allowed to depart on a free move to Al-Wahda FC, of the United Arab Emirates league.
In the UAE, Allan has been an ever-present for his side, starting 29 games in all competitions, from a possible 32. He is rumoured to command a significant wage, albeit considerably lower than what he enjoyed at the Blues, on a contract that runs until June 2024.
Reincorporated back into the picture at Everton during the 2021-22 season, after spending much of the previous two campaigns on loan, first at Schalke 04 and then Celtic, Kenny was plugged in where necessary by Lampard. Filling in at left back, wingback and his favoured right back berth, the former academy product racked up 15 league appearances (eleven starts) in addition to six in the various cup competitions. Probably a high mark of the native Scouser’s Blues career was an impressive outing at left back, in a 3-0 thumping of Leeds United, during which he shackled the talented Raphinha so effectively that the future Barcelona winger was hauled off at halftime by Marcelo Bielsa.
Otherwise, it was a case of maximum marks for attitude and endeavour but falling short elsewhere, so it was a strange that the club offered him new terms, with his contract due to expire at the end of June and a harbinger as to the continuing financial troubles Everton were experiencing. To the 25-year old’s credit, he passed on the offer and departed, signing for Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin on July 1st, opting for the opportunity to play regular football and start afresh. Unfortunately, although Kenny obtained the minutes he was after - starting 25 of 29 league appearances, almost all at right back - he was unable to prevent his new side from falling out of the top flight. He is contracted to the German outfit for two more years.
Apparently Rafa Benitez’s number one target upon his installation as Blues boss, in August 2021 the Venezuelan was recalled to the Premier League, following two years in Russia and China. A solid, if unspectacular performer during stints with Malaga, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion, it appeared Rondon’s time in top European football league’s had reached a natural conclusion and unfortunately his abject performances in an Everton shirt confirmed this impression. A single goal return from 20 league outings during his first campaign was poor indeed, but the striker was retained for the opening of the new season, compiling a mighty 104 minutes of league action across seven forgettable appearances, before his deal with the Blues was terminated by mutual consent midway through December.
In January, Rondon - who still turns out with success for his national side - returned to South America, signing a two-year contract with Argentine outfit River Plate. Back on his home continent, the now 33-year old has taken to the pitch 17 times in all competitions, scoring three times. The veteran has seen his game time diminish recently, with just three appearances from the last nine fixtures. The forward tried his best during his short stint on Merseyside, but is one more indicator of the failure of recruitment at the club during the Farhad Moshiri era.
Speaking of which, Tosun is another expensive example of Everton’s convoluted approach to transfer activity under Moshiri. Allegedly identified as a target by the club’s nebulous owner after watching the Turkish international score twice in a Champions League win for Besiktas against Monaco, €22.5m was splashed on a 26-year old who had played only 15 minutes of senior football (for Eintracht Frankfurt) in a major European league. What could go wrong? Plenty, as it happens. After two years of looking decidedly mediocre for the Toffees, the striker left on loan to crystal Palace, only to suffer a serious ACL injury a couple of months later. Further knee injuries wrecked another loan, with at Besiktas during the following campaign.
In the 2021-22 season, which Tosun spent back at Everton, injuries limited him to a mere eleven minutes of action and any hopes of the club managing to sell the beleaguered player faded to nil. His contract with the Blues finally expired at the end of June and he returned to Turkey, signing once more for Besiktas. Free of injury, the German-born forward has enjoyed a strong season, firing 18 goals in all competitions from 34 appearances. Now 32, he has another year to run on his current deal.
Who? You may well ask. The third (fourth?) string goalkeeper arrived as emergency cover last September on a short-term basis, but predictably did not feature for the Blues, only taking up a spot on the bench on a single occasion. The 38-year old left for the MLS in January, signing a one-year deal with Los Angeles FC, for whom he’s lined up four times.