Everton supporters in the Transfer Tavern are somewhat looking forward to their side’s final match of the Premier League season at West Ham on Sunday, with their team seeking a win to end an ultimately disappointing campaign.
Sam Allardyce’s men were backed by many during pre-season to go on and sustain a challenge to the top six this term, what with the Toffees spending in excess of £100 million during the summer. However, the Merseysiders have been nowhere good enough and were actually in a relegation battle back in November, only for Allardyce to come in and move them away from the bottom three to the safety of mid-table, even if he has taken some heavy criticism along the way.
Nonetheless, there are some positive Toffees fans in the Tavern ahead of this weekend’s trip to East London, with them well aware that victory for their team at the London Stadium would seal an eighth place finish in the division this season.
In the meantime though, there has been plenty for our resident Evertonians to get their teeth into, not least recent reports linking midfielder Wayne Rooney with a move away this summer, with the MLS the likely destination.
And were the Toffees to indeed sanction the £13.5 million-rated (as per Transfermarkt) star’s departure this summer, it would plunge the club into the relegation mire next time round.
Ultimately, while some of those Everton fans at the bar haven’t been hugely impressed by the 32-year-old this season, it was he who pretty much carried the team through the opening few months of the campaign, scoring crucial goals at a time whereby the Toffees were seriously struggling.
Goals in victories over Stoke City, West Ham, and Newcastle United, to name but a few, sealed vital wins for the Merseysiders to keep them afloat prior to Allardyce’s arrival – it could have been a whole lot worse were it not for Rooney’s efforts pre-Christmas.
And while he maybe hasn’t been at his best since the turn of the year, Rooney remains the club’s top goal-scorer this season with 11 goals in all competitions, and were they to lose that during the close season, alongside his influence in the middle of the park, Everton would without doubt be a weaker team.
And given the tight nature of the Premier League outside of the top six (Everton are only ten points ahead of 15th place West Ham), losing a key and influential player over the summer, someone who won them points in the first half of the season, would no doubt see them fall places in the table.
Stoke City and West Brom, two established Premier League sides over the last decade or so, have both lost their top-flight status this term, and Southampton were extremely close to doing so as well – no side outside of the top six can rest on their laurels, Everton included.
And given Rooney’s efforts this term, alongside the impact he could still have in the right position with the licence to play, they simply cannot afford to get rid of him, as doing so would bring relegation into play in the 2018/19 season.
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