After Kenwright publicly spoke of how any donations would be appreciated, it goes some way to telling Evertonians the sort of financial state we are in. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to sell the club either though so departures at the end of the season seem definite. Just who should we be looking to offload in order to get some cash flow back in to the club though. Do we get rid of the older generation of players or should we look for a hefty fee for one of the bigger names.
Those who shouldn’t be getting any game time
First of all, reducing the amount of deadwood in the team would be great for us as it would possibly free up some funds for some other players on the cheap. Antolin Alcaraz would be one of the prime examples of who we should be looking to be getting rid of. His contract with us is up in the summer and he has been abysmal at times, looking his worst in that embarrassing second leg in Kiev in which we crashed out of Europe. Another player surplus to requirements at the club has to be Arouna Kone, scoring just once in the past 2 years after struggling to recover from injuries and remain fit. Although we may not get a transfer fee for either of them, getting rid of them two would free up at least, 50k a week in wages, money which could be reinvested in to bringing in players that would be in contention for a start week in week out.
Out of favour with the boss
Sylvain Distin hasn’t appeared for us since January when he came close to joining West Ham in a deal which would have saw Winston Reid arriving. He has since only appeared as an over-age player in the Under 21 side whilst Alcaraz has been the back-up for Stones whilst out injured. For years now, the Jagielka-Distin partnership has been one which has remained solid and despite his age, Distin has shown that his legs aren’t going when racing for the ball with much younger, fitter players. It does seem pointless to retain his services however if he won’t be appearing for the club and he has recently been linked with newly promoted Bournemouth, a good deal for both involved. Meanwhile, we are rumoured to be looking to bring in Virgil Van Dijk from Celtic as a replacement.
Another player who has seemed to have his issues with Roberto in the last few months has been Kevin Mirallas who has made it known that he wants to be playing European football also. He has recently returned to the squad against Burnley and Man Utd and on both occasions his celebrations suggested he wants to remain here. It is still uncertain though whether he would commit to us if he got an offer from a Champions League side; and I wouldn’t hold anything against him for moving to one of those teams as he has earned a move over the last few seasons with us and shown at times he can be one of the best attackers in the league. I would be wanting at least £12 million for his services though, this would enable us to be able to replace him then, whether that is with Lennon or another winger within our budget.
Luke Garbutt looks like one of our brightest prospects but it seems after Galloway played over him at West Ham that his future will not be with the blues. It is disappointing that we are losing such a talent but I don’t blame the lad for moving, he is good enough to get a start at a Premier League side and I doubt he will breakthrough next season with us so he obviously is looking elsewhere for game time. Although it is a sore loss, we still have Oviedo and Galloway as cover for Baines so we still have high quality at left-back.
Big name rumours
We have two players which have been subject to interest for big money moves in the summer. Wolfsburg have shown a lot of interest in Lukaku as they look to bolster their squad for their Champions League campaign next season after an impressive second place finish in the Bundesliga. The prospect of the Champions League as well as linking up with fellow Belgian counterpart Kevin De Bruyne could be too good for Rom to refuse if an offer does come in with a fee of £33 million being talked about in the papers although there is no statements from either party yet declaring interest.
Barkley has also been a player attracting a lot of interest from league winners Chelsea as well as Manchester City as they both look to buy the very best young talent on offer. As a young English number 10, his price tag looks set to be huge if either of them want to pursue him however with reports of £40 million floating around.
In my opinion, Alcaraz, Distin and Kone look like players who will definitely be leaving Everton on a free at the end of the season with Garbutt looks pretty certain to be on his way out and I can’t see reasons for keeping any of them other than Garbutt. He’s the only one that still could have a future with the club. I wish the other three all the best, especially Distin who has been a solid defender over the last few years. As for the others, Mirallas is a tough one because when his attitude is right, he’s in contention to be our best player but we’ve only seen glimpses of that this season. I’d look to get him committing to a new contract if he stays to ensure we know he definitely wants to remain a player for the Blues and not just leave on a free when his current deal expires. For the other two, I don’t think we have too much to worry about as the speculation surrounding them is more than likely to be made up paper talk with no fact behind the story. I wouldn’t expect too much activity anyway in the off-season Blues.