After eight years with Swansea City, Everton signed Wales international Ashley Williams on the 10th August 2016 in a deal that on the face of it, looked as though might be a shrewd piece of business from the Toffees.
The 31-year-old signed a three-year deal with the Merseyside club and became then manager Ronald Koeman’s third signing of the summer, following the deals for Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye.
Crucially, Williams was brought in to fill the void left by the departure of John Stones. Following his arrival, a lot of the Everton fans were ecstatic to see him join the club but after two years at the club, it seems they might have been wrong to praise the signing so heavily…
WERE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE
— . (@RBxrkley) August 10, 2016
better than Stones
— The Notorious socialism (@andresemartinz) August 10, 2016
YES! the leader and true defender we've been waiting for, what a fantastic signing lads, top job!
Welsh Sergio Ramos
— Ed (@EFCEddie) August 10, 2016
This could be Koeman's most important signing of the summer. Proven Premier League player who showed his class in the Euros.
— Ollie Brown (@bigtabs1977) August 10, 2016
Williams joined Everton after becoming one of the more consistent defenders in the league and had at times even been linked with a move to Arsenal. Playing 36 games for the club, the Wales international endured an ok season with Everton as the Toffees had a very promising campaign and qualified for the Europa League.
The next year, however, saw both Williams’ and the club’s fates begin to turn as following a huge spend over the summer, Koeman was sacked a few months into the season after a poor start.
Instantly, his game time reduced as he only managed to play 24 games in his second spell at the club, although in truth, he should’ve played a lot less. At times it was quite obvious that Williams either didn’t care or was just severely out of form as he put in terrible performance after terrible performance. A low point being his tussle with Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes which incited a brawl between both sets of players and even Everton supporters.
Everton did bring in Sam Allardyce to save their season, which although he did, Williams would eventually find himself out of the squad following his three-match suspension. After the culmination of last season, it was quite clear that Williams was no longer good enough for the squad especially with the arrivals of Yerry Mina and Kurt Zouma.
It seems as though the experienced defender has kept up his poor run of form at Stroke, who have underperformed massively so far this season. Despite praising his arrival two years ago, it seems as though the Everton faithful may have got this wrong as it would be a massive surprise to see the Wales international return after his loan spell.
Everton fans, what do you think?