Everton supporters have been pretty quiet in the Transfer Tavern this week after seeing their side produce an uninspiring performance in drawing 1-1 with Premier League strugglers Swansea City last weekend.
Sam Allardyce’s men went into their clash with the relegation-threatened Swans high on confidence after winning their previous away league game, a 2-1 success at Paul Lambert’s Stoke City. And the Toffees looked on course for back-to-back wins on their travels for the first time since January 2017 when a Kyle Naughton own goal gave them the lead, only for Jordan Ayew’s strike 19 minutes from time to clinch a vital point for Carlos Carvalhal’s side, in turn keeping Everton ninth in the Premier League with four games to play.
Subsequently, there have been many frustrated Toffees supporters in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping that their side can get back to winning ways when they host Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United on Monday.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Evertonians to discuss, not least recent reports linking their club with a move for Stoke City winger Xherdan Shaqiri this summer.
And while the Swiss’ arrival is likely to be well received by Everton supporters up and down the country, landing the 26-year-old could well force £7.2 million-rated Toffees star Nikola Vlasic (as per Transfermarkt) out of the club.
Ultimately, the 20-year-old only made the move to Goodison Park last summer after impressing at Hajduk Split, and the young Croatia international was a reasonably prominent feature in Ronald Koeman’s side prior to the Dutchman’s sacking in October.
Vlasic has made 17 first team appearances for the Merseyside outfit but just three of those have come in 2018, thus suggesting that the winger is a way down the pecking order under new boss Allardyce.
And following the arrival of Theo Walcott from Arsenal in January, who has since been an Everton regular, alongside the return to fitness of Yannick Bolasie, it doesn’t look like the 20-year-old is going to command regular football even now, let alone if the Toffees land Shaqiri over the summer.
Add in the expected returns of Ademola Lookman and Kevin Mirallas, currently on loan at RB Leipzig and Olympiakos respectively, and Vlasic could find himself so far down the pecking order that a move away is the only option if he is to pursue with his young career – ultimately, his Everton career could be over before it really started.
And given his early season efforts for the Toffees, in which he looked bright and dynamic, this would be a real shame, but with Shaqiri having the ability to make something happen out of nothing, he is the sort of addition Everton should be looking at if they are to challenge the top six next season.
Thus, landing the Switzerland international this summer could in turn force 20-year-old Vlasic out of Goodison Park.
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