Everton FC Squad Assessment by Tony Davies

After flourishing during Roberto Martinez’s first season at Goodison Park, Everton went backwards. Despite appearing to be back on track in the early stages of Ronald Koeman’s reign, old problems appear to be resurfacing. This regression and stagnation over the last few years has taken its toll on Evertonians, many of whom have called for a complete rebuild of the squad. According to some, virtually all of the players should be sold and replaced. With such extreme measures being called for, just how much of this is justified and how much is supporters’ exaggeration? The following list looks at 25 of Everton’s most prominent players, predicting what the future may hold for each of them. Unlike the older members of the squad, the four players on the list who are under the age of 21 have not been examined in detail, mainly due to the impracticality of judging them based on only a handful of senior experiences.


25-man squad – 2 goalkeepers, 8 defenders, 7 midfielders, 8 forwards
Joel Robles – Goalkeeper

Early in his Everton career, Joel appeared destined to be remembered in the same vein as Stefan Wessels. Yet, now into his fourth season with the club, the Spanish goalkeeper has enjoyed several games where his performances have been praised. Joel’s time at the club, though, has mostly been spent as a back-up, and much of the love he received over the last couple of years came from simply not being Tim Howard. Although his heroics are fun when they come off, there are also times that make it clear he is a level below many other Premier League goalkeepers. Several errors and miscommunications early in his Everton career attached the ‘dodgy keeper’ label to Robles, with a lack of consistent performances and game time not allowing him to fully shake this off. Significant improvement from the player would be needed for him to have a successful future at Everton.

Age: 26

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: remain mostly as a substitute or be sold before the end of his contract

 

Seamus Coleman – Defender

It is crazy to think that a young lad from Donegal playing in the League of Ireland just eight years ago could make himself such a well-known star of the Premier League. But that is exactly what Seamus Coleman, now captain of the Republic of Ireland, has managed to do. Anyone who has heard Evertonians singing on a matchday is likely well aware of how much Coleman cost the Toffees when he signed from Sligo Rovers in 2009. Given the tremendous impact he has had, at £60,000, the right-back should be considered one of the biggest bargains of the Premier League era. His debut in English football included a brief taste of the Europa League, Premier League and FA Cup, after which the young Irishman spent a few months on loan at Blackpool. During his short stay in the Championship, Coleman helped the Tangerines achieve promotion via the play-offs, ending his time there with the jubilant occasion of the final against Cardiff at Wembley. Breaking into Everton’s first team the following season, he was sometimes deployed on the right of midfield, where Evertonians were able to witness the exciting attacking intent of the defender. This aspect of his game was most notable during the memorable 2013/14 season, where he scored six goals from right-back and was named both Everton Players’ and Supporters’ Player of the year. Coleman’s performances that campaign were noticed not only by his own club, however, as he was included in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year. Since then, Everton’s change in fortunes on the pitch has caused some supporters to exaggerate the drop in quality of several first-team players. Although he has been included in this at times, the 28-year-old is still well worthy of his place in the starting lineup.

Age: 28

Contracted until: summer 2019

Likely to: remain a key figure of the team for the foreseeable future, with a move to Manchester United remaining possible unless they acquire an established right-back

Leighton Baines – Defender

The best set-piece taker at the club bar none, Baines’ left foot has brought a lot of joy to Evertonians for nearly a decade. His overall performances, however, have been just as important to Everton. This should not need explaining to anyone who has watched the team over the last few years, but three Everton Players’ Player of the Season awards, two Everton Player of the Season awards, 30 England caps, and two appearances in the Premier League PFA Team of the Year provide plenty of evidence. Baines’ down-to-earth attitude resonates with supporters and gives him a connection that can be seen in their reactions to him making a tackle or celebrating a goal. The effort is always there from the defender and, more often than not, so too is the quality, with his footballing brain an underrated reason why he has provided so many assists over the years. Now one of the more senior players and still the club’s first-choice left-back, Evertonians just need him to stay fit until someone proves capable of replacing him long-term.

Age: 32

Contracted until: summer 2019

Likely to: be a regular as long as his fitness allows him to and finish his career at Everton

 

Darron Gibson – Midfielder

Having only turned 29 in October, Gibson is younger than he looks. The bad news is that, if you attempted to determine his age based solely on his Premier League appearance stats of the last few years, you would expect him to be a youngster attempting to break into the first team. He has failed to reach double figures in league appearances since his first full season at Goodison, with a total of 23 in that campaign still not overly impressive. Injuries have wrecked the latter stages of the midfielder’s Everton career, making it easy to forget that there was a period when he was a hugely influential figure in the team. According to Luke O’Farrell writing for EPL Index, during Gibson’s initial two seasons at the club the Toffees won around 52% of games he played in and only 25% without him. Sadly, since scoring the winner against Manchester City in 2012 shortly after his debut there have been few highlights, and the emergence of younger players likely signals the end of the Republic of Ireland international’s time with Everton.

Age: 29

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: be sold before the end of his contract or continue to be absent from most matchday squads

 

Ashley Williams – Defender

Moving to Merseyside for £12 million in the summer, the signing of the Wales captain marked the arrival of the type of centre-back Goodison had clamoured for all last season. John Stones was brilliant for Everton and will have a very successful career, but Evertonians had seen too many mistakes and endured too much heartbreak from what sometimes appeared to be a ‘no hoofing’ policy under Roberto Martinez. The sale of Stones meant the club needed to go out and buy a replacement, and so far the signs have been positive from Williams. An integral part of Swansea’s rise from the Championship and solidification as a Premier League side, the Welsh club have missed his leadership so far this season and are currently struggling near the foot of the table. The Toffees’ defence, however, has been steadied somewhat by his presence. Averaging nearly 44 games a season in all competitions since 2008/09, Ronald Koeman will be hoping he can count on the 32-year-old with a similar consistency.

Age: 32

Contracted until: summer 2019

Likely to: play a big role in the immediate future of the team and a return to a more solid Everton defence

 

Phil Jagielka – Defender

One of the most important Everton players of the last 10 years, next summer will mark a decade since Jagielka arrived at Goodison from Sheffield United, during which time he has become a staple of a generally solid backline. Recently recalled to the England squad, he acquired his 40th cap when he appeared against Spain at Wembley in November. As Everton captain, Jagielka’s place in the team for the Toffees has rarely been under threat as much as it is now, with Ashley Williams and Ramiro Funes Mori both appearing regularly at international level in their own right. If the 34-year-old can maintain the high standards he has set himself over the years, though, he should still be in the starting lineup most weeks given the current squad. Talk of the defender’s decline seems premature and too focussed on his age, as several lacklustre performances do not suddenly remove the ability shown only a few games earlier. Although he has been so much more to the club, the crucial penalty at Wembley to send Everton to the FA Cup final and the injury-time silencing of the Kop will be the moments that stand the test of time.

Age: 34

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: play a slightly less prominent role before retiring at the end of next season

 

Gerard Deulofeu – Forward

Arguably the most exciting player to watch at the club, the young Spaniard can glide past an average defence as if it isn’t even there. Flashes of brilliance during a memorable campaign in 2013/14 had Evertonians buoyed by the prospect of signing the talented youngster on a permanent deal, but Deulofeu returned to Barcelona at the end of his loan spell and was subsequently sent to Sevilla for the following season. Since becoming exclusively an Everton player in July 2015, he has proven that the talent which made him popular during his initial stint at Goodison is still there. The challenge now is to take the success he has enjoyed with the youth setup of the Spain national team, where he recently became the under-21 side’s all-time leading goalscorer, and emulate it on a consistent basis in the Premier League. Now 22 years old, Deulofeu is still a young man, but his relatively vast experience at the top level means it is time to push on and feature more prominently for Everton. Alternatively, his time may already be up as rumours of the winger’s departure begin to gather pace.

Age: 22

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: have a big enough highlight reel from his time in the Premier League to draw interest from clubs regularly qualifying for Europe

 

Ross Barkley – Midfielder

The day a 17-year-old Ross Barkley made his first team debut in a 1-0 home defeat to QPR seems almost a lifetime ago. That is probably because, in football terms, five years is actually a very long time. Since that day, the midfielder has appeared over 150 times for Everton in all competitions. Some days he has sparkled. Some days he has been the subject of frustration. The 23-year-old’s immense talent means he is rarely allowed a day where his performance is deemed to be ordinary: neither great nor awful. If the Toffees have won and Barkley has been involved, credit will come his way. A loss, however, can result in an ugly backlash. The simple fact is that this local lad is a very good footballer and one of the biggest stars that Everton’s academy has ever produced. Given his first proper chance in the Premier League by Roberto Martinez, it could be argued the youngster’s progress spiralled upwards in 2013/14 before levelling out and coasting for much of the time afterwards. Already treated much more sternly by new manager Ronald Koeman, signs of an increased work rate by Barkley have been the result. A continuation of this is needed for the boyhood Evertonian to reach his huge long-term potential.

Age: 23

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: have the chance to grow as a player under Koeman, remaining at Everton unless the club fail to compete for European places

 

Arouna Kone – Forward

Arouna Kone’s Everton career stalled before it got out of first gear. The first of four players to join manager Roberto Martinez in switching from relegated Wigan Athletic to the Toffees, the £6 million fee paid for him that summer suggested he was to play an important part in the upcoming campaign. That all changed, however, when Romelu Lukaku arrived on a season-long loan on deadline day. Kone was rapidly approaching 30 years of age, and the 20-year-old Belgian who had just enjoyed a stand-out year with West Brom was given the chance to continue his impressive performances. That is exactly what happened, which meant that a place on the bench was the best the older striker could expect for the time being. Having managed 11 Premier League goals for a struggling team that was eventually relegated, it seemed at first that Everton may have plucked one of the better players from Wigan in the hopes he could improve on his tally in a more stable side. Whilst the emergence of Lukaku may have hindered his chances in the short-term, it was a knee cartilage injury that ruled him out for over a year which had the biggest impact on Kone’s long-term success at Goodison. Such a bad injury at the tail end of his career was always going to have a notable effect, and whether the Ivorian could have contributed much more had he not been injured will never be known.

Age: 33

Contracted until: summer 2017

Likely to: make few appearances before leaving the club at the end of the season, when a highly-paid move to China may await him

 

Romelu Lukaku – Forward

This 23-year-old is the most influential striker Everton have had in a long time. The impact Lukaku had immediately after joining Everton may remind some of Nikica Jelavic, who scored 11 times in 16 matches in all competitions as a January signing in 2012. Over a longer term, the Belgium international is the closest thing Evertonians have seen since Yakubu’s debut season at Goodison, when the Toffees’ record signing at that time scored 15 goals in 29 Premier League games. Now Everton’s record signing himself, last season Lukaku actually surpassed his predecessor’s tally of 21 in 39 in all competitions by hitting the back of the net 25 times in 46 games, which also produces a marginally better scoring ratio. The goals may have dried up for Jelavic, and Yakubu was never the same player for Everton after a serious achilles tendon injury, but Lukaku has shown no signs of slowing down. The fact that he is still eligible to play for the under-23s this season without being classed as an ‘over-age’ player is incredible when you think how much playing experience he has at the top level. Whilst some of his comments to the media may appear disrespectful to the club, Everton currently have a huge talent on their hands whose sole aim is to take himself to the very top. It would be nice if all top strikers were team players and respected the fans’ desire for loyalty, but some of the very best to have played the game have been incredibly egocentric. Lukaku is a huge star and he will only shine brighter over the next few years, whether it is at Goodison Park or somewhere else.

Age: 23

Contracted until: summer 2019

Likely to: continue to be Everton’s main source of goals before he is ultimately tempted away to a club regularly playing in the Champions League

 

Kevin Mirallas – Forward

When he wants to be, Mirallas can be the star of the show for Everton. He can produce a piece of magic that has fans raving after the game: one that has supporters of other clubs looking on with envy. This, though, does not happen as often as it should. The Belgian forward had featured prominently since being signed by David Moyes for £6 million in the summer of 2012. It was only last season that saw him play a diminished role, as speculation surrounding a fall-out with Roberto Martinez was accompanied by fleeting appearances from the bench. Whilst incredibly talented on the ball, when without the ball Mirallas is often a combination of ineffective and dangerous. Not always keen on the defensive side of the game, the times when he does engage in a tackle can sometimes result in unnecessary bookings. With Ronald Koeman trying to implement a style of play with more emphasis on pressing from the front, Mirallas could be deemed unsuitable by the Dutchman if he is unable to prove otherwise quickly.

Age: 29

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: be in and out of the starting lineup before returning to France or Belgium to finish his career

 

Aaron Lennon – Forward

To paraphrase a line from The Longest Yard, Aaron Lennon is so fast that he makes fast people look not fast. He is an exciting player to watch when on the move, and since arriving at Goodison has been able to show Evertonians he is someone who will put the effort in on the pitch and display the work rate the crowd demands. During his time at Tottenham, Lennon helped the North London club qualify for Europe in all but one of the 10 seasons he was there. Whilst his last year at the club may not count much towards that (he was used infrequently before joining Everton on loan), the winger was a regular feature of the side for the nine full campaigns he spent at White Hart Lane. His Spurs career also saw him represent the club an impressive 58 times in European competition alone. Whilst debuting in the top flight at 16 years of age makes it seem like he has been around forever, Lennon still has plenty left in the tank. Once the youngest ever player to appear in the Premier League, if he can maintain his incredible level of agility then he will continue to offer a threat as part of Everton’s attack. At present, any impact he makes is most likely to come after being brought on as a substitute, although Yannick Bolasie’s long-term injury may open up more opportunities for him to start.

Age: 29

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: feature in several positions in Koeman’s flexible system, the success of which will determine if he stays beyond the end of his contact

 

Yannick Bolasie – Forward

Yannick Bolasie is the type of player who tends to appear brilliant when his team wins and rubbish when they lose. Tricks and flicks are his specialty, and the ease with which he seems to bamboozle defenders is what makes him so appealing to fans. The 27-year-old’s skill on the ball and abundance of pace mean he has both the key attributes of a traditional winger. Moreover, Bolasie is a big guy. Standing at 6-foot-1, he towers over Gerard Deulofeu and weighs approximately three stone more than Kevin Mirallas. This gives him the edge over his counterparts when it comes to dealing with the physical battles that the Premier League brings. The main job of any wide player, however, is to supply the forwards with goalscoring opportunities. By the end of October, Bolasie had assisted Romelu Lukaku four times, the pairing gelling almost immediately to become a potent threat in Everton’s attack. Although a serious knee injury will probably prevent the former from providing any more service this season, the aim will be to use the summer to get the DR Congo international fully fit and have him raring to go by the times August rolls around.

Age: 27

Contracted until: summer 2021

Likely to: be a long-term feature of the team once he returns from injury

 

James McCarthy – Midfielder

Although he was signed by Roberto Martinez, James McCarthy seems much more like someone who would fit into the mould of one of David Moyes’ Everton sides. Going back even further, he possesses a similar tenacity to those who earned the nickname the ‘Dogs of War’. Arriving for £13 million, the midfielder became the second most expensive player in the Toffees’ history at the time, which, quite justifiably, was met with some scepticism. After all, the Wigan Athletic team for whom he had supposedly impressed so much had just been relegated, finally succumbing after struggling near the bottom of the table for each of the four seasons McCarthy spent with them. The player Evertonians saw after he arrived at Goodison, however, was a revelation. During a memorable 2013/14 campaign in which Everton secured their highest points total of the Premier League era, McCarthy played a key role alongside fellow new recruit Gareth Barry. Although his primary position was midfield, the Republic of Ireland international could be found in almost any area of the pitch during most games, as it often seemed there was not a blade of grass he had not covered. It was this non-stop approach to his play that gained him the admiration of any former sceptics, yet Everton’s apparent softness after that initial impressive season has seen some of this fondness wear off. Rumours of McCarthy leaving during last summer’s transfer window have also caused some to question his commitment to the cause off the pitch, but his attitude on the pitch remains as devoted as ever. Having had an elongated chance to convince Koeman of his ability, an important decision must be made regarding the 26-year-old’s long-term future.

Age: 26

Contracted until: summer 2020

Likely to: become a successful part of Everton’s midfield once again or be sold and replaced whilst his value remains high

 

Idrissa ‘Gana’ Gueye – Midfielder

Rarely has a player arrived at Goodison where preconceived doubts over his ability have so quickly turned to praise and adoration. It is fair to say that many Evertonians simply did not know much about Idrissa Gueye at all. The midfielder was signed from freshly relegated Aston Villa for around £7 million amidst minimal fanfare. His former employers had finished rock bottom of the Premier League with an embarrassing 17 points. Yet, here was a player whose tackling and interception stats were second only to 2015/16 superstar N’Golo Kante. Whilst Leicester’s midfield dynamo was undoubtedly one of the best performers in the Premier League and a major part of the Foxes’ title triumph, a £25 million difference in price between him and Gueye when both players were sold suggested Everton may have secured a hidden gem. So far, that has proven to be true, at least in the opinion of Evertonians who must now concern themselves with the impact of his absence during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

Age: 27

Contracted until: summer 2020

Likely to: continue to be loved for his energetic style of play and be targeted by clubs regularly playing in the Champions League

 

Gareth Barry – Midfielder

The impact of Gareth Barry cannot be truly appreciated until he has played for your team. Prior to his arrival at Goodison in 2013, most Evertonians saw him as little more than a Premier League stalwart. The 35-year-old’s reputation as an ever-present is supported by him appearing in an average of around 40 games per season in all competitions throughout his career. A successful midfield partnership with James McCarthy in his debut season for Everton saw the Toffees follow up on the initial loan spell by offering Barry a permanent move after the expiration of his Manchester City contract. The fact that he was given a three-year deal at the age of 33 showed both how much the club valued him and how much confidence they had in his availability. Many may have expected the midfielder to start winding down now after a gruelling career spent entirely in the top flight, but recently signing a one-year extension should keep him at Goodison until he is at least 37. Barry’s ability to do the dirty work can go unnoticed by neutrals and he often provides a layer of protection that must be overcome by opposition players before they reach Everton’s defence. Always willing to offer a teammate an option to pass to, the side has struggled to cope with his absence in the past and must now begin looking to the future to prepare for when the veteran eventually retires.

Age: 35

Contracted until: summer 2018

Likely to: gradually lose his stronghold over a place in the starting lineup before finishing his career at the end of next season

 

Enner Valencia – Forward

Enner Valencia’s loan move to Everton on deadline day of last summer’s transfer window smacked of desperation. What’s more, an option to sign the player permanently for £14.5 million hardly seemed like a good deal for a forward who had scored only eight goals in 54 Premier League appearances. When Valencia’s full Everton debut came around and he had a chance to show the supporters at Goodison exactly what he could do, Norwich left with a 2-0 win to knock the Toffees out of the EFL cup and distract from any positives there may have been regarding his performance. Since then, the Ecuador international has shown some neat touches during the opportunities he has been given and has linked up well with Everton’s other forwards as part of a supporting cast for Romelu Lukaku. For a relatively small player he has an incredible leap, but so far he has not had enough of an impact to draw any Tim Cahill comparisons. Whilst his scoring ratio for West Ham may not appear impressive, 19 goals in 34 appearances at international level is evidence of his importance when playing for his country. This is especially significant considering Ecuador are not one of South America’s footballing superpowers and are currently seventh out of ten in the CONMEBOL rankings. After initially not featuring much for Everton at all, he was handed a start in the home victory over Arsenal and impressed enough to keep his place for the Merseyside derby the following week. There appears to be a decent player within Enner Valencia, and Ronald Koeman has until the end of the season to get the best out of him.

Age: 27

Contracted until: summer 2017

Likely to: score a couple of goals before returning to West Ham at the end of the season

 

Bryan Oviedo – Defender

For someone who was signed when David Moyes was still manager, Bryan Oviedo has probably not played as many games for Everton as he would have liked. In fact, 15 Premier League appearances during his debut season is the most he has achieved in a single campaign since signing in 2012, with 14 of those coming as a substitute. Although it has not been uncommon to see the Costa Rican left out of the team under Ronald Koeman, it is important to remember that a large portion of his absence in previous seasons was due to a serious injury, rather than him simply not being selected. In January 2014, the month after becoming a cult hero for scoring in Everton’s first league victory at Old Trafford since 1992, Oviedo broke his leg during an FA Cup game away at Stevenage. The injury would keep him out of action for eight months, a cruel blow to the defender which meant he was unable to compete at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil for which his country had qualified. During the early stages of his career at Goodison, Oviedo was sometimes deployed on the left wing in order to get him used to the English game. Recently he has been used more specifically as a full-back, limiting his playing opportunities due to his low priority in the pecking order. Although there was briefly a time when Everton did not appear to miss Leighton Baines due to the presence of the Costa Rica international, that is no longer the case. With the former having signed a new contract running until 2019, Oviedo may have to look elsewhere if he wants regular game time.

Age: 26

Contracted until: summer 2019

Likely to: struggle to establish himself as first-choice left-back at the club

 

Mo Besic – Midfielder

The young Bosnian is the type of player who, some may suggest, would tackle his own grandmother. Fierce, passionate, and someone who can get the Goodison crowd fired up with a single action, Besic has made quite an impression on many Evertonians given his relatively short game time. Arriving at Everton in 2014, the midfielder has appeared just 35 times in the Premier League due to both his inexperience and his struggles with injuries. Freshly off the bench for his debut in front of his new team’s home fans and an international audience watching live on television, a ridiculous pass which led to Diego Costa capping off Chelsea’s 6-3 victory was not the start he would have been hoping for. Since that awkward first encounter with an unhappy Goodison Park, the Bosnia and Herzegovina international has shown intermittent flashes of brilliance. The first leg of a Capital One Cup semi-final saw him produce a barnstorming performance throughout Everton’s 2-1 home win over Manchester City. Tackling anything that moved and providing a key link between defence and attack, it is that level which Besic must return to once he makes his comeback from a serious knee injury. Although his long absence may mean he has been pushed to the back of people’s minds, there is a very gifted player within him that Everton must attempt to unleash as often as possible.

Age: 24

Contracted until: summer 2021

Likely to: need patience as he is slowly given chances to prove his worth in Koeman’s system after he returns to full fitness

 

Maarten Stekelenburg – Goalkeeper

Six-and-a-half years ago, the Dutch goalkeeper starred for the Netherlands on their march to the 2010 World Cup final. Up to that point, his professional club career had only seen him play for Ajax in his homeland, but the next few years would involve something of a European tour for Stekelenburg. With his profile boosted following the World Cup in South Africa and after winning both his second Ajax Player of the Year award and Eredivisie title, 2011 saw him earn a move to Roma. Since his debut season in Italy when he made 29 Serie A appearances, the Netherlands international has not played anywhere near as many league games in a single season. His status as a reserve goalkeeper was never more apparent than the year he spent on loan in Ligue 1 with Monaco, where he made a solitary league appearance. Prior to taking a knock which ruled him out over the recent Christmas period, Stekelenburg was on course to achieve nearly a full season’s worth of top flight matches for the first time in five years. A variety of performances so far for Everton has seen descriptions of the 34-year-old ranging from ‘solid’ to ‘error-prone’. When he first arrived at Goodison, it was thought that he probably would not feature as much as he has done already. As soon as a long-term goalkeeper becomes available to the Toffees, though, the Dutchman should become mostly absent as initially expected.

Age: 34

Contracted until: summer 2019

Likely to: remain first-choice goalkeeper until it is possible to sign a better replacement, when he will then become first-choice back-up

 

Ramiro Funes Mori – Defender

When Everton paid £9.5 million for a 24-year-old defender from Argentina, supporters were not quite sure what to make of the deal. Ramiro Funes Mori’s only senior experience at club level was playing for River Plate in his homeland, with the Argentine Primera Division a league relatively few on Merseyside had much knowledge about. Whilst the style of football played in the leagues of other European countries is often contrasted to that of the English Premier League, teams in South America have their own distinctions too that can make it difficult for players to adapt. Funes Mori, though, has shown he is capable of handling himself amongst England’s elite, and the physical side of the game is arguably one of his strengths. An aerial threat from set-pieces, the centre-back scored five times for Everton in all competitions during his debut season. His most notable goal came in the 2-1 home victory against Manchester City in the first leg of a Capital One Cup semi-final. The 25-year-old is remembered fondly by River Plate supporters, as he played for the club during a hugely successful era in which they were promoted back to the top flight, claimed their 36th Primera Division title and won the Copa Libertadores (South America’s equivalent of the UEFA Champions League) for the first time since 1996. Whilst Everton’s other two main central defenders are approaching the end of their playing careers, Funes Mori could still play for another 10 years. Although he has youth on his side when it comes to his future with the Toffees, he has a long way to go to establish himself as a part of Ronald Koeman’s long-term plans.

Age: 25

Contracted until: summer 2020

Likely to: stay at Everton for now but be sold before the end of his contract, whilst eventually finishing his career at his beloved River Plate in Argentina seems a certainty

 

Tom Davies – Midfielder

Age: 18

Contracted until: summer 2021

Likely to: benefit greatly from his experience around the first team and be given more chances from next season

 

Dominic Calvert-Lewin – Forward

Age: 19

Contracted until: summer 2020

Likely to: continue to impress at youth level and be played out wide during the limited opportunities he is given in the first team this season

 

Mason Holgate – Defender

Age: 20

Contracted until: summer 2021

Likely to: gain more experience around the first team before following in the footsteps of John Stones by becoming a very successful centre-back signed for a relatively small fee

 

Brendan Galloway – Defender

Age: 20

Contracted until: summer 2020

Likely to: return early from his unsuccessful loan spell at West Brom and be loaned elsewhere, where he can hopefully get more game time and become a more well-rounded player

 

N.B. All ages and contract lengths accurate as of January 1st 2017.

 

*Written before the Manchester City game by the author hence the exclusion of Ademola Lookman.

 

Tony Davies

 

(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)