David Heaton provides his rundown of the current Everton side.
Pickford – Keep, obviously. Come on again this season development wise, made some vital stops in games, not many better when it comes to shot stopping. Has shown a susceptibility to crosses and decision making at times, which has cost us, but unfortunately the process of developing into a top goalkeeper is laden with mistakes, just look at De Gea’s first season at United.
Stekelenburg – Sell. Was never a bad goalkeeper, prone to a mistake or two but did a job when he was called upon. Unfortunately age is against him, can imagine he’ll end up going back to Holland to finish off his career, either that or as back up maybe for a newly promoted side.
Robles – Keep/Sell. This one can go either way for me, performed well in big games for us in Koeman’s first season, and under Martinez when called upon after Howard’s tenure, though I’m ignoring that 94th minute parry to Mane, the stuff of nightmares. 28 this year he’s coming into his peak years as a goalkeeper, wouldn’t do him any harm moving on and getting himself some consistent first team football, but wouldn’t argue against him staying on the bench either.
Coleman – Keep. I don’t think many would disagree with this, you can never question his commitment in every game, never stops down that right hand side. Never the best technically when it comes to his delivery in the final third, but he makes up for it in solid defending and chipping in with a couple of goals a season.
Martina – Sell. Ah Cuco, however comical it may be looking back on his reign at left back, seeing someone disregard a limb in the way he did with his left foot caused plenty of frustration to many a fan this season. Time for us to really invest in cover for Baines, he may have a season left in him and Cuco certainly isn’t the answer.
Williams – Sell. For a man who performed so well leading up to the Euro’s in ’16, only to give us, well this season. Can’t imagine anyone will argue against him leaving this season. Chances are he will end up back at Swansea helping them bounce back into the Premier League.
Jagielka – Keep. The captain. The man who is deemed finished every year, only to come in and prove he’s still got it, gets his extension, rinse and repeat. Honestly I’d have him round the club regardless of how much he plays this season. For all the young defenders we have, Holgate, Kenny, Pennington etc, his experiences are always going to be of help.
Funes Mori – Keep/Sell. Mori is a funny one for me, his injury has seen him miss the entire season pretty much, bar the odd cameo here and there. I only saw the second half of the West Ham game on Sunday and he was off by then so I can’t comment on his first half performance, but with a World Cup upcoming I’d wait to see how he performs before making a decision on his future.
Keane – Keep/Sell. Like Mori, I don’t think many would argue either way. A player that showed so much potential at Burnley last year. This season he seems slow on the turn, prone to mistakes and being caught out positional wise. Hopefully a new manager would be able to iron out these issues but he’s not performed near the level he should. Our defence needs a huge overhaul and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him on his way.
Holgate – Keep. He’s been a peripheral figure under big Sam, not sure why. Always compared with John Stones for his ability to pass out from the back, his only issue at times may be a lack of physicality when playing at centre half. Only young though still, I imagine once he fills out he can become a top defender in the league, just needs consistent first team football.
Baines – Keep. Looks like this will be his last year, still quality on his left foot, set pieces especially, as he showed in that last home game. This summer needs to be the one to find his successor, and he needs to spend this year (if he’s a youngster) guiding him and getting him ready for the next few years. But his experience will still be invaluable over the next year or two.
Kenny – Keep. Shown some promise this season when covering from Coleman, still has a long way to go in his development in order to become a top right back. Whether he will reach those heights is yet to be seen but as back up for Seamus he is more than good enough to provide cover at right back.
Other Young Defenders – Garbutt, many called for his involvement for the last few seasons, no doubt about his ability on his left foot, but after still not making it into the first team under a number of managers you feel there must be an underlying issue – Sell. Galloway, coming back off of his second poor loan spell, unable to make an impact in a relegated side this time around. Looks like he’s not come close to fulfilling the potential he showed in his first season – Sell. Pennington, just signed a new contract after a decent spell at Leeds. For me, I would send him out on loan to a premier league side, give him a full season at the top level, and see if he’s got what it takes, then if he has he can step up into the first team the season after next – Keep (Loan). Browning, had all the makings of a good centre half, tall, strong and a good turn of pace. From what I have read he’s had a mixed time at Sunderland and I don’t think it will quite work for him here, especially after another season ending injury – Sell.
Gueye – Keep. An ever present in the midfield this season, tireless in his work ethic and tough tackling. Technically he’s not great, his passing can be very hit and miss, needs a creative, ball playing midfielder next to him, and arguably could’ve had Barry next to him for another year as he did a lot of his running for him before that. He would probably work best being the anchor behind 2 further forward midfielders rather than in a defensive 2.
Schneiderlin – Keep. One of my first controversial decisions that many may argue against, the lad has the quality to play in this league, he wouldn’t have signed for Man Utd if he didn’t. His first 6 months here he seemed fantastic, getting forward quickly and quality passing. The last 2 years he’s been very subdued, passing backwards and sideways and sitting back, though this last couple of months he seemed on the up. With the right manager getting us to move forward quickly, I believe he could do well, he has the ability to do so.
Davies – Sell/Loan. Controversial opinion #2. Probably in the minority of blues here, but I don’t believe technically he’s good enough to take us to where we want to go. I believe we need to look past the days of hard work being enough to warrant a place in the side over lack of ability, we don’t need any more Stracqualursi’s. The stat’s speak for themselves, 0.3 key passes per game, 0.9 tackles per game, 1.2 fouls per game, 2 goals and 1 assist in 33 appearances this season (20 starts), one of which was that lovely deflection against the Saints. We’ll all look at him through tinted glasses because he’s one of our own and we all want to see him succeed, but I just don’t believe he has what it takes to get us to that next level.
Klaassen – Keep/Sell/Loan. Honestly, who knows? The old adage goes, you can’t captain Ajax to the Europa League final and be a bad player. Struggled to adapt early on, but you always catch a glimpse of the quality he has with his attacking movement and passing. He is one who could’ve done with a good World Cup, unfortunately his national team didn’t fancy the trip to Russia. The new manager may like him more than the last, push him further up and bring the best out of him, he may not. If he were to be loaned out, again I’d say to another Premier League side, no point in him adjusting to another slower league somewhere. All I can say is id like him to succeed.
Sigurdsson – Keep. One of the easiest ones on the list, a man with great technical ability and strong work ethic. Showed when played in his preferred position how well he was doing in the weeks leading up to his injury. In the right system with the likes of Walcott, Tosun and Lookman ahead of him he would have a field day. He might not be a £45 million player, but that doesn’t doubt the abundance of ability he has, so for me he starts next year.
McCarthy – Sell. Very unfortunate with injuries, another like Davies in my opinion, will run and run until the sun goes down but often lacked that extra bit of technical ability. Keep him about through his rehab and then get him a move to somewhere where he can hopefully rebuild his career.
Besic – Sell. Another I would have liked to see succeed, become something of a cult hero at Middlesbrough after his loan spell, hard-working, tough tackling and good on the ball. Can see him signing for another premier league side and making a name for himself, just didn’t have enough here.
Bolasie – Sell. Anyone arguing against this idea needs to hand their ticket in to the park end box office. Not a shadow of the player he was since his injury, and even before then he wasn’t an outstanding player. Lost more than a yard of pace, clueless with his attempts at tricks, and his final ball doesn’t even exist. One of the easiest decisions on this list, time to move on.
Mirallas – Sell. Attitude problems and consistency have always been his downfall. A fantastic player on his day, unfortunately his day seems to come less often each season. Struggled even at his loan spell in Greece, I’d be surprised if he makes Belgium’s squad for the World Cup, and even more surprised to see him don the royal blue again. Time to move on.
Walcott – Keep. Injected that much needed bit of pace to our attacks, his ability to go past a player and get into the box is something we’ve missed for a while. In his peak years I think he’ll be a quality player for us over the next few seasons, one of the only positives from the Allardyce era.
Rooney – Keep. Hear me out. He’s not the player he was, that’s a given. But his experience is invaluable, as well as even his name. Players who we want to bring in will see the name Wayne Rooney, know the player he was and want to play alongside him. Plus 10 goals this season, isn’t bad for someone that is “finished” and ended up playing sparsely in midfield. Under the right management and playing style he can definitely still contribute to the team.
Vlasic – Keep. Must have been a frustrating year for him. Shown real promise in glimpses, definitely think his better position would be in the middle, given space to roam. Has the ability to go past a man, just needs consistent first team action to progress to the next level. Possibly loan him out for a year? Could benefit him like the man I’m covering next.
Lookman – Keep. What was Fat Sam thinking? 5 goals and 2 assists since he joined Leipzig in January. The fact Bolasie started so many games and this poor lad got shipped out is an embarrassment to football. Any fan that saw his appearance in the 2nd half of the derby in December saw the qualities he possessed, and all those in Germany have seen the same. I honestly believe we’ll struggle to keep hold of him, it’s going to take a lot to persuade him this is the place to stay. But that needs to be a priority.
Other Young Midfielders – Dowell, enjoyed a good spell at Forest, mainly in the first half of the season. They were poor throughout and he was a bright spark in a dull side – Keep. Baningime, will be forever praised for that tackle down at Chelsea. Looks like a tidy little footballer, I believe would definitely benefit from a loan move out to somewhere like a newly promoted side, get him constant first team football. There’s potential there – Keep. Grant, struggled on loan at Doncaster after a lack of pre-season and game time in the first half of the season at Ipswich, so much so Darren Ferguson confirmed they wouldn’t look to go through with an already agreed fee for him. I think he will be better off looking elsewhere to get a proper season under his belt and rebuilding from there – Sell.
Tosun – Keep. He has shown in parts when we’ve actually given him the ball that he has the ability to get goals in this league. If we can get runners off him and get plenty of the ball into the box, as well as into his feet, he can definitely come up with 15+ goals a season.
DCL – Keep/Sell. Probably the last of my controversial opinions, I’m of the belief that he isn’t good enough again to take us to where we need to be. He is another who will always keep running, but lacks that physical intent at times to really get stuck in to a defender when closing them down. A lack of cutting edge finishing really hampers him too which I noticed first at the u20 world cup last summer, only 4 goals this season isn’t a great return, granted he was deployed more on the wing. Though I did notice he was our top provider of assists with 6. If he can work on his finishing he could be a decent player for us, and as he’s only 21 he’s still got time to improve, but when you compare him to another 21 year old like Gabriel Jesus, he’s a long way off.
Niasse – Keep. I don’t think there was a happier moment in any game we played last season than when Oumar grabbed himself a goal. Far from the best technically, but he knows where the goal is. This being amplified by his goal at the end of the West Ham game. Never going to grab you 20 goals a season but as a substitute striker he has changed games when he’s come on, I’m looking at the Bournemouth game at home. If he’s happy to stay on the bench, play in the cups, I’d be happy to keep him.
Sandro – Sell. I was disappointed to see him given a lack of chances, thought he could have been a very shrewd piece of business from us. Alas he was loaned out and has struggled a little out in Spain too. For the sake of everyone it would probably be best to let him go back to Spain permanently, though I wouldn’t complain if he was given more of a chance next season under the new manager.
Other Young Forwards – Tarshaj, doesn’t seem to have impressed a lot with his previous loan spells, can’t see him pushing into the first team any time soon – Sell. Onyekuru, scored enough at Anderlecht to make the management try and stop him being called up for Nigeria’s WC squad in order to avoid getting his work permit to come back to us. Happy to see him continue to develop with European experience – Keep.
I would also like to see the progression of young players into the first team to continue, from what I read from the u23’s and the odd game I catch there does seem to be some talent in the squad. The likes of Fraser Hornby, Callum Connolly (had a good spell at Ipswich), Joe Williams who has had a great season at Barnsley, with a lot of their fans calling for him to be signed. Also Antonee Robinson who had a good spell at Bolton helping them survive relegation this season, Morgan Feeney who made a couple of appearances this year, and Bassa Sambou who has scored a fair few this campaign. With the right additions this summer the new manager will have plenty of quality to choose from.