There’s no doubting that Roberto Martinez has developed some of Everton’s younger players into established English Premier League stars. However, following Martinez’s recent sacking, it raises some doubts about the futures of the likes of Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and John Stones.
None of the trio are the finished article, yet but they’ve all shown their ability consistently, and it’s no surprise bigger clubs are interested in securing their services. This poses the question: should the Toffees really keep them at Goodison Park?
If they want to develop a title-winning side, yes. However, even with these three fully developed it would be unlikely for the Toffees to replicate Leicester City’s recent success. Therefore, do they really need them?
The answer is, plain and simple, they don’t.
Financially the club could make well over £125 million for their prized assets. However, with a recent takeover and substantial investment the funds are the least of their worries. The club no longer need to sell to survive. But that doesn’t mean they should avoid the selling system that’s got them this far.
When Wayne Rooney came through it was evident that he would go on to far bigger and better things, and he was eventually sold to Manchester United. Whatever the Toffees’ plan, there’s no doubting that this trio will eventually walk away from Merseyside. So why not now?
Barkley, even when below his usual standard, links the midfield and attack, and looks set to continue to be a key part for the Three Lions.. Although he is sometimes given the ‘lazy’ tag and seemingly suffers from a lack of confidence when the going gets tough, there’s no doubt he’d be a far better fit in a confident, free-flowing team; he’s a luxury Everton can do without.
Lukaku, however, would be a bigger miss, with the Belgian currently one of Europe’s brightest young strikers. However, he’s simply too good for Goodison Park. Which would explain the ever-present interest they’re receiving from Bayern Munich, Manchester United and the recently-crowned UEFA Champions League champions, Real Madrid.
There really is little chance of the former Chelsea striker staying.
Just months ago Roberto Martinez, the then-manager, insisted
“January is not a window where we are going to bring any instability to our squad.”
“Any talk about players getting evaluations or leaving the club is a waste of time. We are not going to even consider losing a member of our squad who has been important will be important for the second half of the season.”
However, with the Spaniard receiving his P45, could things change at Goodison?
The Toffees reportedly turned down offers in the region of £50m for Stones last summer, and although he occasionally struggles, he is a class above mid-table mediocracy. The ball-playing, yet no-nonsense centre-half is on the summer-shortlist for a host of teams, and sooner or later, he’ll be leaving.
Although it’s never wise to sell all your assets in one summer, the Toffees are fighting a losing battle in keeping their wanted, talented threesome. So why battle it? Demand top price, cave in and gain a mega windfall. Then they can do what they do best and re-invest in to their incoming young players.
There are no players bigger than the club, and the show must go on. It’s going to happen sooner or later, so why not give the yet-to-be appointed manager a completely fresh slate and a transfer kitty to really put a fresh impetus into the blue half of Merseyside.