Should I Stay or Should I go?

Phil Roberts 01/02/2020 17comments  |  Jump to last
A well-known track from the Clash, but probably not a question a lot of the players below will need to answer because I suspect most will not be given a choice to decide whether to stay or go.

A quick scan through the ToffeeWeb Player Profiles and there are 20 Everton players who are out on loan or perhaps coming to the end of their top-level career over the next 2 summers. This was before Feeney and Gibson went out on loan this week. I have not included them in the list below. While some of you probably think they do not deserve the shirt, I am not going to pass judgement as Ancelotti and Brands are far better qualified than I am and, if they say stay, then I will not argue.

This summer, we have 7 players who will be out of contract. The age shown is their age at the date they are out of contract.

Stekelenburg (age 37) – when I started to write this, he was No 3 behind 31-year-old Lössl, so I thought neither party are expecting a new contract to be offered. Lössl will return in the summer and resume his No 2 duties and it does mean Pickford is locked in as No 1 and Stekelenburg will be out of contract.

Baines (age 35) – on a one-year extension. Without a standout backup to Digne in the U23s and Leighton not letting us down when he has deputised, I would not be surprised if he was given another 1-year extension. But at the money he is on? That is expensive.

Martina (age 30) – I am sure he knows he will be moving out of the area come June.

Niasse (age 30) – Another one who knows he is leaving.

Garbutt (age 27) – A fixture in the promotion-chasing Ipswich Town team in League One. I am sure they will offer him a contract in the summer. Shame he is out of contract; otherwise, we could have got a penny or two.

Tarashaj (age 25) – 20 games into the season and he has had 4 unused sub non-appearances for a team currently 12th and just 4 points clear of a relegation place in a weak Dutch League. Gone!

Feeney (age 21) – Only just loaned out to Tranmere, so he will probably be offered a new contract to see how he gets on playing against bigger, stronger players than in the U23s.

The following Summer, June 2021, is when Brands will really be given some freedom with 11 players who will leave – unless he has been able to sell them prior to that date:

Bolasie (age 32) – He's played 13 times for a Sporting Lisbon team pushing for a Europa League place. He's scored just the one goal and been subbed in each of his last 3 games. He will need to find another loan for next season as he does not seem to be setting it alight in Portugal and will not get a game at Goodison Park.

Walcott (age 32) – 11 appearances plus 5 from the bench and only just scored his first goal this season. I am therefore going to take credit for the win at Watford. I wrote this originally on Friday night. Obviously Theo knew this was going to be on ToffeeWeb so made sure he scored today. But a new contract for someone who does not deliver on the job for which he was recruited? But are we prepared to let him walk away? I suspect a 1- or 2-year extension or a sale is the most likely option.

Schneiderlin (age 31) – Just 10 appearances this season plus 2 from the bench. Unlikely to be anything more than an experienced reserve in case of injury to those above him in the pecking order. Again, another who will be a problem as he is worth something so do we let him walk away or keep him as cover with a short contract extension?

Besic (age 28) – Just one sub appearance for Sheffield Utd in the first 15 games this season but, since then, he has been brought on almost every game and even started 2 (but finished neither!). Playing at a club at the top end of the Premier League there must be the option to try and move him on this summer to The Blades, who must rate him.

Pennington (age 26) – At the same club as Garbutt, he has only started 2 games and mostly been an unused substitute this season. It looks like even League One may be above his grade and so another season-long loan in 2020-21, becoming a free agent thereafter.

Ramirez (age 25) – Can you believe he's still only 24? Real Valladolid are struggling at the bottom end of La Liga and he has featured in 9 straight matches until last weekend. He even scored in the first of them. Clearly someone who will not be back in England as he has not re-discovered the goal-scoring knack which persuaded us to buy him. Another loan next season before a phone call saying his contract is over. There is no way the parting will be done at Finch Farm.

Dowell (age 23) – Now at Wigan Athletic after half a season at Derby County where Phillip Cocu gave him 6 games and then abandoned him to the bench, getting his studs mucky just 4 times in 19 games as The Rams failed to live up to their expectations. Seems to be a luxury player and likely to be loaned to whoever will have him in the Championship or League One and then released.

Broadhead (age 23) – After a bright start at Burton Albion, he has been injured and probably came back too soon and was injured again. Only 2 appearances in the last 12. Scored in the first two games but none since. At his age, unlikely to make a career at Everton so I can see a sale this summer or another loan and a free agent at the end of the contract.

Connolly (age 23) – After 4 games without taking off his trackie, he moved from Lincoln to Fleetwood and the tutelage of that well know Bluenose, Joey Barton, for whom he has started all 3 games. Again, another who I cannot see, at the age of 23 in June 2021, being someone to overtake the players we have as he is not setting things alight in League One. Unless he is sold in the meantime, he's another who will be allowed to leave at the end of his contract.

Bowler (age 22) – Whilst perhaps not being a possible candidate for the division all-star team, he has been a regular on the Hull City team sheet, only missing out last weekend after a heel injury had ruled him out for up to 8 weeks. He seems to have made progress and could be the perfect replacement for Walcott as he has scored just one goal in 22 games. I think he will be given a new contract to see what happens.

Hornby (age 21) – The Brands-inspired move to Belgium at the age of 19 will make him or break him. Once he signed, he played in 12 games, scoring 3 goals. KV Kortrijk are not one of the better teams in Belgium so that's a reasonable return for a struggling team. At present, he's unlikely to replace any of the existing strikers but another who will be given a new contract to see what happens especially if he is seen to be scoring more regularly.

That leaves us with 2 players currently out on loan who will still have 2 years left on their contracts when they return in the summer... 2 very different situations:

Tosun (age 31) — now at Crystal Palace and he has scored in the second of his three matches. There seems to be no mention of an option to buy and he will be 31 by the time his contract is up; therefore, for that reason alone, he will be released. Brands will need to find someone to take him from us in the next 3 windows.

Kenny (age 25) — he's having a good season at Shalke, who are at the top end of the Bundesliga. But it seems he was found out by Bayern last weekend.
Sidibe will be 28 in the summer, 5 years older than Kenny. Will we sell Jonjoe and buy Sidibe? Does the latter give us more going forward but less solidity at the back? This is where Brands and Ancelotti earn their money. I think we will not have to wait 2½ years to find the answer to whether Jonjoe will get a new contract.

It looks as though, this summer, Brands will free up around £12m of salaries, £16m if Kenny and Tosun can be sold. There will then be a further £20m+ to be released in 2021. However, we will need new players and Sidibe is reputed to be on £2.5M a year.


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Reader Comments (17)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 02/02/2020 at 01:00:19
Another possibility at RB that you didn't mention, Phil... Sidibe could be bought, Kenny could be kept and it could be Seamus, who turns 32 this year, who would be sold. He's on £3,640,000/year. If you're correct about Sidibe's salary, that means Seamus is making almost 50% more than the player he has lost his position to.

I'm not concerned about the torrid game JJK reportedly had against Bayern. Some of the world's best right backs have had the same experience. That is one potent attack.

Derek Thomas
2 Posted 02/02/2020 at 06:35:16
I'd keep Hornby, JJK, Sidibe, Bowler...undecided on Besic. The rest...thank you for your efforts...can go.
Steve Brown
3 Posted 02/02/2020 at 06:48:41
Good summary Phil, it shows the size of the ongoing clear out that Brands is having to manage. Twenty players and I would want to see JJK still at the club next season.
Sean Callaghan
4 Posted 02/02/2020 at 09:42:59
I don't know if Brands has Complete Control over the transfers now that we have Carlo, but he definitely needs to Clampdown on the squad size. Half the squad seem to turn up to Finch Farm to Train in Vain without any hope of first-team action. Obviously, if Tosun impresses at Palace, it'll be London Calling for him, but it might be Straight to Hell for some of the others.
Ryan Holroyd
5 Posted 02/02/2020 at 10:21:44
I'd release or sell every single player on that list
Simon Smith
6 Posted 02/02/2020 at 16:12:01
Good piece Phil,
I was pondering the very same thing before I read your article (it’s amazing the positive thoughts a win brings).
I think the next 18 months are incredibly important for Everton:
The large majority of the “deadwood” will be out of contract by summer 2021, let’s just pray they don’t replace them with similar duds.
Steve Ferns
7 Posted 02/02/2020 at 16:40:51
I'd keep Kenny and Sidibe. Sidibe has played at left back a lot. I think he started for two seasons there for Lille. Not saying he should be our starting left back but this versatility is a reason to keep him. You can have him on the bench covering either full back position. Or if he is right back and Digne is injured, then you bring Kenny on and put him to left back.

As for the rest, Nathan Broadhead is only 21, he's got 18 months left, and I'd keep him on loan for the rest of that contract and review it as he progresses. Feeney I'd look to see how he gets on too, but maybe an extra year to give us room to manoeuvre if he does well on loan.

Besic is absolute shite. He has zero quality, no redeeming features at all. Just a load of faux passion and an inability to stay in position. He's the most ill-disciplined defensive midfielder I've ever seen. It's pure negligence he is still on our books.

Of all the players, the most likely to do a "John Lundstram" is Callum Connolly. The lad might not have a bag full of skill, but he is a grafter, he gives 100% and he will make a career for himself. I am sure of that. I wouldn't retain him though, I'd wish him well and remind him of Lundstram and that he should drag himself back to the top.

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 02/02/2020 at 17:11:53
I expect Walcott and Schneiderlin will be with us next season due to lack of takers. Neither have been that bad... Silva got the boot - though both very limited. The others need to go. If Connolly does a Lundstram that means taking years to become a player who is still not good enough for us.

But my main point after a good ramble is that it's criminal to have such players on our books who are utter shit and were never going to be more than that. This club. Sheesh!

James Flynn
9 Posted 02/02/2020 at 20:09:00
Shows the enormous task Brands has since his arrival.

Baines and Stek back-ups, so OK. Sidibe, fine but not ours.

Walcott gives his all, just isn't that good footballer. Nothing to add on Schneiderlin.

Everyone else a collective anchor for 5 to 17 months on the Club's drive forward.

Outside of a possibility with Sidibe, none will make more than their current wages. We could be stuck with them thru the end of their contracts.

Michael Lynch
10 Posted 02/02/2020 at 20:45:20
I'd let them all go, and buy Sidibe. I'd also be looking to replace Keane, Mina, Sigurdsson, Delph and Iwobi over the next 18 months if we're serious about challenging for top four. This is mediocre squad.
Jim Harrison
11 Posted 04/02/2020 at 10:59:51
Derek 2

I have to say Steve Ferns has said it pretty well, but to reiterate, Besic is terrible and shouldn't even be allowed to train with the Under-23s. Only still on the books because he wouldn't take a permanent move away. Probably enjoys better wages with us and will be able to get a signing on fee if he is a free agent.

Sam Hoare
12 Posted 04/02/2020 at 11:41:49
Kenny is the only player on that list I'd be happy to see at Everton next season though there will be many more Brands is unable or unwilling to shift. Feeney could be another but I believe he has just got injured and I suspect he's more of a Michael Keane type defender who will suit a team playing a low block.

Hull have an option on Josh Bowler so either they will buy him or he's not good enough for them, in which case surely he's not good enough for us.

Bolasie, Walcott and Schneiderlin (and Delph and Sigurdsson) are perfect examples of why you should be extremely careful and judicious when paying our big fees and big wages to players in their late 20s. Those 5 players are collectively on about half-a-million a week and yet I hope none of them will be in our strongest XI next season. They will be very hard to shift.

Steve Shave
13 Posted 04/02/2020 at 12:28:39
As I mentioned on a previous thread, we are IMHO a top draw CM and RM away from having a really good side that can challenge the top 4 under Carlo's careful stewardship. I have a feeling (don't quote me on this) that Tosun will do well at Palace and we will get a half-decent return on his fee.

Schneiderlin has to go; on the wages he gets paid he will likely have to take a pay cut from his next club. We will likely have to subsidise this and it will be reflected in the transfer fee. Because of this (and because he is 30), we will do well to get £6M for him.

Bolasie is another conundrum really. (Thanks for that one, Walsh, you smug, suitcase dragging turd!) I believe I read he has a purchase-option on-loan deal with Sporting around the £7M mark... I'd bite their hands off; unlikely to happen.

We won't be able to give Sandro away so it will be another loan where we will likely subsidise a huge chunk of his considerable wages. As awful as he is, I don't blame Walsh quite so much for that one after the season he'd had at Mallorca; there were a whole host of teams fighting to sign him for the knock-down buy-out clause price. Turns out he was a one-season wonder, he scored 16 league goals and looked the real deal.

We must sell on Sigurdsson; as I have stated before, we should be looking to part exchange with this one.

Dowell is another strange one; I'd tipped him for the top, funny old game but I still think we could get a fee for him... £4-£5M?

It's a tough job ahead for Marcel, may the force be with him. I'd keep Delph, he could be our left-back cover next season (saving us having to purchase another) and also a covering central midfielder. I would like to see us buy Sidibe and sell Coleman, with MLS a possible destination for him.

Kevin Prytherch
14 Posted 04/02/2020 at 12:51:31
I honestly think we are only a right midfielder off having a team to challenge the top 4 (assuming Gomes and Gbamin come back decent). It’s the squad that I worry about.

How good are Kenny, Baines, Keane, Davies, Walcott, Sigurdsson, Delph and Iwobi as reserves If a long term injury hits?

Tom Bowers
15 Posted 04/02/2020 at 13:48:21
Some players just don't improve no matter who they play for or how many appearances they make.

Many teams have a surplus of, shall we say ''misfits'' who will never play consistently at the top level and at Everton we have our share of them who seem to be out in the cold.

The likes of Dowell, Niasse and Bolasie are just not rated at Goodison so why have they not been let go permanently?

There are also some other young players who are not considered good enough such as Baningamee.

I would hope that between Carlo, the board and the close season that Everton have a real clear out so that some class imports can be brought in to compliment who Carlo wants to keep for next season.

Obviously Gomes and Gbamin need to be factored in when fully fit although we know Gomes can play a bit already.

Derek Knox
16 Posted 08/02/2020 at 02:46:42
Good article, Phil, and a painful reminder of not only the deadwood we still have but the poor Management that bought most in the first place, which was bad enough, but the ridiculous contracts many are on. No wonder we recorded record losses.

As you so succinctly mentioned, many have no sell-on value, and are not even an attractive option for a side who may desperately need bolstering, because of the prohibitive wages they are on.

I don't envy the job that Brands has and, apart from a couple of seemingly over- expensive incomings (who may come good) in Iwobi and Gbamin, he is criticised unfairly in my humblest of opinions.

Mark Guglielmo
17 Posted 08/02/2020 at 22:00:40
There appears to be somewhat of a misconception about how to move these players out. You can't just 'buy them out' or 'release them'. If you did, any monies left owed on their fees and wages are reported as losses for the quarter (and fiscal year) you do so. Given how close we are to breaching the 3-year, £105M max loss allowable under FFP, we cannot take on any more loss.

Personally, I think our only hope is to try to sell with the promise of subsidized wages to entice other clubs to buy them. Even if we were to pay, say, £50k/week for Sigurdsson for example, it's better than £100k/week and it frees up wages to be spent elsewhere.

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