Everton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are relishing their side’s final Premier League game of the campaign at West Ham on Sunday, with their team heading into the encounter having lost just one of their last eight league games.
Manager Sam Allardyce came under heavy fire following the Toffees’ 2-1 defeat at Burnley back on March 3, but the Merseysiders have since then embarked on a fine run of form to move up to eighth place in the table. They recorded back-to-back successes over Brighton and Stoke City in the aftermath of the Burnley loss, and although they got beat 3-1 by Manchester City on March 31, they have since won two and drawn three of their five Premier League games to go into the final day knowing a win would seal an eighth place finish.
As such, there are some positive Evertonians in the Tavern ahead of this weekend’s clash against West Ham, as although it has been a desperately disappointing season at Goodison Park, they have at least finished it reasonably strongly to build momentum ahead of next term.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Toffees supporters to discuss, not least recent reports linking their club with a move for Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles.
And were the Toffees to indeed land the £6.3 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) this summer, it could well bring to an end Ashley Williams’ time at Goodison Park.
The 33-year-old made the move to Everton back in 2016 after a hugely successful eight-year stint at Swansea City, whom he helped reach the Premier League back in 2011, and then helped to establish in the top-flight in the five years succeeding that.
And while there was much anticipation among our resident Toffees fans when their side landed the centre back two years ago, they have since been pretty disappointed with the Wales international, who has on the whole looked a shadow of the player that excelled at Swansea.
Williams missed just two games in the Premier League last term for the club in their run to seventh place in the table, performing reasonably solidly along the way, but this time round has seen the 33-year-old’s form nosedive significantly, with many Everton fans in the Tavern highly critical of the defender’s efforts over the course of the campaign.
And at the age of 33 and having just a year left on his current contract, Lascelles’ arrival could well push him down the pecking order at Goodison Park, what with Michael Keane, Ramiro Funes-Mori, and Mason Holgate all younger and having done solidly at times this season.
Ultimately, it’s no coincidence that the Toffees have lost just one of their eight games since Williams was sent off against Burnley back in March, and while he has been available for selection in their past five matches, the fact he has been left out of the matchday squad altogether underlines his current status in Allardyce’s pecking order and thinking.
Lascelles’ arrival this summer will only add another name above him in the order, and as such could well push him out of the club altogether.
Everton fans… what do you think? Let us know!
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