Everton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are very much looking ahead to the rest of the summer transfer window, what with their side clearly in need of reinforcements after an underwhelming season.
The Toffees were tipped by many to go on and possibly challenge the top six at the start of the season following a summer of big spending, but things simply didn’t work for the Merseysiders, who were third from bottom when Ronald Koeman was sacked back in October. And while Sam Allardyce took over and led them to safety, he was not universally popular among the Everton faithful, and was relieved of his duties last week as the Toffees hierarchy search for the man that can take them to the next level next time round.
But to get there, it’s clear that signings are needed this summer, although recent reports from The Sun outline that one man could be leaving Goodison Park this summer, namely Leighton Baines.
As such, the Merseyside outfit must be ready to pounce if the linked-away left back does indeed leave this summer, with £7.2 million-rated ace Kieran Gibbs (as per Transfermarkt) the man they should target to replace the 33-year-old.
Ultimately, there has been much talk in the Tavern in the last few months about the left back department at Goodison Park, what with Baines at the age of 33 and heading into the final 12 months of his contract.
And with no viable alternative in the current Everton squad (right back Cuco Martina was often used there during Baines’ injury absence earlier this term), some of our resident Everton fans have been discussing possible targets for the summer, with Gibbs one they want their club to go after.
The 28-year-old made the move to West Brom last summer after things went stale at former employers Arsenal, and although the England international was part of a Baggies team relegated to the Championship this season, he performed solidly to suggest that he could still do a job at Premier League level.
The left back played 33 times for the Midlands outfit this time round, often as a natural left back but sometimes as a wing back, with his efforts and endeavour very much apparent in trying to get West Brom out of their plight, even if it was ultimately unsuccessful.
Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that Gibbs was regularly turning out for England such were his efforts at Arsenal, which is indicative of the level of performances he is capable of producing, and as such could seek to replicate were he to remain in the top-flight next term.
And if he still harbours genuine ambitions of playing for his country again, the 28-year-old may need to stay in the Premier League, and Everton should seek to give him that opportunity.
Be it as a left back, or indeed as a wing back, Gibbs has proven his worth in recent times to suggest that he could be the perfect replacement for Baines at Goodison Park, and with over 250 appearances so far in his career, he is unlikely to be overawed at the prospect of filling his compatriot’s big boots.
Thus, the Toffees simply must be ready to make a move were Baines to leave this summer, and Gibbs should be the man they turn to in a bid to replace the linked-away star.
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