Joel Robles admits he is unsure of his future at Everton as he enters the final year of his contract with the club.
In that respect, while Ross Barkley's apparent contract impasse has been grabbing the headlines recently, Robles finds himself in a similar situation to his 23-year-old team-mate — although, unlike Barkley, it doesn't appear as though the Spaniard has opened negotiations over a new deal.
A year ago, Robles was looking ahead to finally enjoying being the Toffees' first-choice goalkeeper after wresting that title away from Tim Howard and then seeing the American secure a move to MLS with Colorado Rapids.
New manager Ronald Koeman had other ideas, however. Having signed Maarten Stekelenburg, he installed his compatriot as the starting ‘keeper at the beginning of last season and Robles was again forced to bide his time.
Patience paid off again this year when an injury to Stekelenburg gave him the chance to prove his case again and a string of impressive performances earned him the starting berth even after the Dutch stopper regained his fitness.
Unfortunately, his form faltered again towards the end of the season and Stekelenburg was reinstated, only to miss the last two matches with another injury.
Robles, though, doesn't appear to be confident that he has won Koeman over and may be forced to assess his future if he doesn't want to play understudy again to what is predicted to be a new long-term goalkeeping acquisition this summer.
“It has been a complete season on a personal level,” Robles told IBTimes. “I am quite happy with my performances. I played well and I think I have fulfilled the expectations.
“Now in summer we will see what happens. I only have one year left in my contract and I have to sit down with the club to make a decision.”
“I think I have to make a good decision. I've been already here during four years fighting to be the number one and now the truth is that I am not very clear what will happen in the future.
"I have certain doubts. We will have to sit down with the club and see what happens.”
Reader Comments (59)
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1 Posted 24/05/2017 at 06:25:00
2 Posted 24/05/2017 at 06:41:53
But I guess with only a year left on your contract you should have made your mind up by now whether your signing or not? Then again didnt Ron recently say about Barkley "we offer contracts to good players" (or something similar). Guess that helps make your mind up.
3 Posted 24/05/2017 at 07:06:27
4 Posted 24/05/2017 at 07:17:36
My 2nd para was tongue in cheek.
5 Posted 24/05/2017 at 07:18:18
No pressure Joel, lad. Take your time (although I'm guessing if 'Honest' Ron hasn't been impatiently stood waiting with 'The Heat Is On' blaring full volume from his 'ghetto blaster', whilst tapping his watch to the beat and mumbling something about renaming you 'bloody Rossles', every time you walk by, then the writing could very well be on the wall).
6 Posted 24/05/2017 at 07:42:01
7 Posted 24/05/2017 at 07:50:09
8 Posted 24/05/2017 at 07:58:36
9 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:10:41
Firstly, he has improved immeasurably in the last 12 months in terms of technique. His "command" particularly has impressed me.
Secondly, when told by Koeman last close season that he was not first choice Joel went home furious and feeling hurt. However, he talked himself round and vowed to work harder and make Koeman think again.
Of our 2 first choice keepers, I'd happily wave Stekelenburg goodbye. He's as decent as he'll ever be, and frankly that's nowhere near good enough for Everton.
Robles has demonstrated his desire to improve. As a keeper he is still learning and eager to do so. He is, incidentally, the same age that Big Nev was when he broke through.
Do we need a proper top keeper to start next season? Absolutely. Is that Joel? Sadly, not at the moment.
I believe that to let him go could be a decision that we may regret. Extend his existing contract by another 12 to 24 months and reconsider in a years time.
We have far more fixtures to fulfill next season. Europa League plus we must have a proper tilt at both the League & FA Cups. With a view to winning all three plus European qualifying position in the Premier League. So retaining Joel makes good sense to me. Even buying a top drawer keeper doesn't make them impervious to injury.
Buy the best, keep Joel, lose Stekelenburg.
10 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:14:47
Ronald sure comes across as a ruthless SoB. Can't say I've warmed to his managerial style.
The way things are looking, we'll have to splash some major cash just to get the squad up to the right numbers, never mind improving the quality.
11 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:16:59
Our weaknesses are in front of him, central defence, midfield creativity and finishing. Pass and move forward into space is basic football strategy/skills, but this lot can't seem to grasp it!
12 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:24:31
How we'll replace Rom's goals and Ross's creativity has to be sorted out as a priority. We really do need an out-and-out playmaker to open up defences.
13 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:32:29
That said, if we spend right this summer, he should not be our Number 1 come August.
14 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:36:39
Two centre halves, a winger, a two creative midfielders and a forward should be our priorities.
15 Posted 24/05/2017 at 08:44:17
16 Posted 24/05/2017 at 09:08:45
17 Posted 24/05/2017 at 09:19:21
In Robles's case he is a good goalkeeper who can get better with better defenders in front of him.
18 Posted 24/05/2017 at 09:30:41
19 Posted 24/05/2017 at 09:47:15
Having said that, I don't think he is what Koeman is looking for; if he prefers the duffer he signed last year, as seems to be the case, the Spaniard's days are truly numbered.
20 Posted 24/05/2017 at 09:47:43
His "guess" at Origi's shot from outside the box was ridiculous. He might improve in this department but a club with Everton's ambitions can't afford to wait around while he does.
21 Posted 24/05/2017 at 09:49:19
22 Posted 24/05/2017 at 10:15:20
23 Posted 24/05/2017 at 10:15:53
24 Posted 24/05/2017 at 11:26:55
25 Posted 24/05/2017 at 11:27:53
26 Posted 24/05/2017 at 11:30:59
27 Posted 24/05/2017 at 11:45:33
First choice for me would be Butland, although the links for Iker Casillas should be very welcomed. He could be a big name addition that could help encourage other talent in.
28 Posted 24/05/2017 at 12:05:48
29 Posted 24/05/2017 at 12:07:57
Actually Stekelenburg wasn't as bad as people make out. He's another that has the ability but not always confidence. The Spurs game he was great. And that performance away to City was perhaps the performance of the season by an Everton player. What a game he had.
30 Posted 24/05/2017 at 12:17:57
Robles was never a bad keeper and has put a good shift in. I'd be sorry to see him go. Shittiest job on the field.
31 Posted 24/05/2017 at 13:16:52
He has improved this season.
Still has much to prove and improve.
Is still young in goalkeeper terms.
Needs more game time to continue improving and maturing.
He could grow into a really good 'keeper. Or, he may eternally be just an 'Okay' 'keeper.
What he is now is NOT a top, top 'keeper who you can't drop from the team. IMO we need a really good and proven player in this key position. Both Joel and Stekelenburg have their good days, but are both a bit 'meh!'
It should be a priority position this summer. If Joel also leaves, then we need two incoming 'keepers to ensure cover.
The best option for the club is to retain him as backup to a better player, but the lad has a say in this. If his ambition is to play regularly, his best option may be to move on, because if Koeman and Walsh are in the market for 'keepers and they should be then logic dictates it should be for one better than those we already have at the club.
32 Posted 24/05/2017 at 13:21:23
33 Posted 24/05/2017 at 13:30:22
34 Posted 24/05/2017 at 13:41:38
35 Posted 24/05/2017 at 13:51:20
Not happy to include any red references in my posts but wasn't Mignolet made the whipping boy for their early losses?? Yet to my mind, it was his form that got them into the Champions League.
36 Posted 24/05/2017 at 14:09:36
If this is the quality of current "explanations" on our Web Page then we are definitely struggling, as after a season of this nature for our keeper to not comprehend this is totally unbelievable.
Just hope his agent is more on the ball, & able negotiate something away from Goodison, or accept 2nd place behind AN Other.
37 Posted 24/05/2017 at 15:21:22
Probably talking to the Board about this one after his hols...
38 Posted 24/05/2017 at 15:23:54
I'd have been shouting from the rooftops for Hart, as I was last August. But he's not impressed in Italy and he looks to have been exposed over the last couple of years. I would still take Hart and do think he's top 6 or even top 4 quality, but the £20m+ it would need to secure him is too much. Robles is not that much worse than Hart.
As for blowing the £20m on Pickford, or £30m on Butland, I would prefer to use that money on other positions. Robles is not the same magnitude of weakness we have elsewhere, for example cover at left back, a top class centre back, cover at right back, pace on both flanks, and most importantly 2 strikers (1 if Rom surprises me and stays) and a Number 10 (regardless of whether Ross stays).
My shopping list if I was Walsh would be:
Big number 9, Pacey number 9, Flying winger capable of playing on either wing (2 depending on Bolasie's recovery), Number 10 advanced playmaker in the Silva mould, and a commanding centre half.
I think we need to focus on quality and if only a few players arrive in the summer I could cope with that. Maybe we could give Kenny a chance as cover at right back, Galloway and Robinson could cover left back.
Centre mid concerns me also. We've gone from having far too many to actually looking light next season. In my mind we have a midfield triangle of two from Schneiderlin, Gueye and Davies and then a playmaker at the tip of it. Barry looks like he's in rapid decline now. McCarthy is off for sure in the summer, so we need someone else in there with a lot of legs.
On the flanks we only have Mirallas, Bolasie, Deulofeu, Barkley, Valencia, Calvert-Lewin and Lookman. Of these, Barkley actually did well on the right and I'd like to see more of him there if he stays. He can attack on the outside with his more dominant right foot, but he can also cut inside and unleash that booming left foot he seems to favour when it comes to the long range bombs he's hit in the past.
Deulofeu will be sold, Valencia will be sent back and not purchased, and Bolasie is an unknown quantity. Calvert-Lewin and Lookman were unconvincing on the flanks, with the former being a centre-forward and not a winger. Leaving Mirallas as the only wide player we have, and he wasn't even first choice last season for long spells.
This is an area that really needs to be addressed. How many times did we see how Valencia's pace opened up defences for Lukaku? We need more pace and someone with a better all-round game than Valencia.
It's going to be an interesting and probably disappointing summer...
39 Posted 24/05/2017 at 15:31:27
40 Posted 24/05/2017 at 15:41:16
I really hope we get Butland; I also think Bergovic would do the job. However, Hewelt has just signed a new contract is this the route we're going down? The club seems to be selling such events as "signings" which I suppose technically they are.
41 Posted 24/05/2017 at 17:23:21
Having a good back up is essential. Without one and we are vulnerable, and Stekelenburg is no good. Also, a player who is equal to Joel will cost £10 million upwards, and we need to focus on a new No 1. Give him a 3-year contract, the chance to prove himself in Europe and sell in a year for a good fee and replace with a young prospect.
42 Posted 24/05/2017 at 19:34:44
43 Posted 24/05/2017 at 20:09:19
He is at least as strong as Stekelenburg and will get better. All keepers prosper behind a solid, predictable centre-back pairing. He hasn't had that. To judge where he's at compare him with De Gea. He has also worked behind nonsense for most of the time but he is always top notch.
I'd keep him and play him for cup and other less challenging league games to see how he works out behind a more solid back 5.
If we can sign better, we should do so.
45 Posted 24/05/2017 at 20:45:21
I think goalkeepers are affected by confidence as much as strikers and he's been let down by Ron by putting that awful Stekelenburg back in when he makes mistakes.
As he doesn't have the rep, it's a lot easier to see his mistakes. He was 7th in the stats table for Premier League keepers this season, so a couple of consistent seasons he could be right up there.
Not saying don't sign a world class Number 1. But if push comes to shove I'd prefer the money spent on defence and on the wing and a Number 2 goalie.
46 Posted 24/05/2017 at 22:21:00
No ifs, buts or maybes – it's the only decision to take. Top goalies win matches and Butland is and will be for years a top goalie. Van Dijk and Siggurdsson too – not asking for much is it?
47 Posted 24/05/2017 at 23:15:33
48 Posted 24/05/2017 at 23:59:03
Joel needs to be a No 1 at this stage in his career. We need to buy an established name keeper we've been talking about for the last 3 seasons. Stekelenburg would be my No 2 next season.
49 Posted 25/05/2017 at 00:27:49
That, after 4 years is enough to say sorry lad, move on. I'd clear out the whole goalkeeping fraternity.
Time to buy a clear Number One and find and suitable back up, time served I'd say rather than up and coming. Candidates are few and in many ways not a many that standout either
I think Butland would be my choice, despite the injury has made a decent comeback, Stoke are treading water and will be dogs to deal with but I reckon £15-20m would get us our man.
Less said about Stekelenburg the better, just a comfort blanket for Ronko and useful to have a zealot in the dressing room to spread the book of Ronko.
To start the season without a clear recognised No 1 would point to a poor summer out of the gate.
Wouldn't bet against Joel starting the Europa League games equally...
50 Posted 25/05/2017 at 00:54:52
51 Posted 25/05/2017 at 01:49:02
52 Posted 25/05/2017 at 03:26:17
Joel saved us with saves in one-on-one situations a number of times this season most recently at Arsenal from abject humiliation.
I would put up with awaiting improvement in his positioning and make him No 1 in light of the paucity of alternatives and priorities elsewhere.
If Butland became available for £20m as John says, I would snap him up.
53 Posted 25/05/2017 at 06:54:02
Unfair by whom? He's a well-paid No 2 who is supposed to be challenging for top position and cementing that position when he gets it. Easy ride for him since arriving.
54 Posted 25/05/2017 at 11:58:15
He's a very capable keeper, sometimes excellent, so he's just the kind of guy you want to push your No 1 to maintain form. As long as Koeman doesn't make him feel that he has no chance of first-team action, then I hope he'd stay.
Perhaps it'll come down to how settled he feels personally in the UK, I doubt he'd get a better gig in the Premier League, but if he wanted to move back to Spain then I'm sure there'd be suitors from middling La Liga clubs.
55 Posted 25/05/2017 at 12:51:15
This news article serves as a bit of a reminder that clubs and fans really have no right to demand loyalty or commitment from players with regards to contracts. Joel hasn't been offered a contract, while we insist on Ross's commitment. The only difference here is what the two players are worth on the market.
56 Posted 25/05/2017 at 15:48:41
57 Posted 25/05/2017 at 18:36:39
58 Posted 26/05/2017 at 06:00:26
59 Posted 27/05/2017 at 09:08:40
Sorry Kevin, if any goalie makes repeated errors throughout his career, it is Joe Hart.
60 Posted 29/05/2017 at 21:35:29
A lot of Keepers don't get out of their bad habits until they hit over 30 and while Joel has made mistakes he has played very well when he was the bit part.
5 years is all a long-term goal keeper can expect these days and maybe over 2 years playing League Cup and the nothing Europa League games (hopefully), he may cut out the nerves or the hasty decisions and become the regular keeper for 5 years.
Or simply loan him out, but who w ants to enter the market for two goalkeepers in one window!
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