Having recently focused on an assortment of young arrivals at Everton, it’s time to roundup what, or, indeed, who (to be more benign, precise and aware of human features), is slumping out the Goodison exit.
Well, we’ve already discussed that Gosling cock-up in reasonable detail (see, the adequately and handily titled, That Gosling Cock-up in full), rendering Dan Gosling set to slink out of the club on a free. Even so, it seems significant to at least focus upon the player, as a player, again ahead of any prospective move. Certainly, whilst Gosling was a useful utility player at Everton and, at only 20-years-old, still a fresh-faced thespian of potential, he is not in the same league as the likes of Rodwell. Moreover if he did, indeed, want a first-team opportunity in central midfield, it is reasonable to suggest this would have been slightly premature and an unlikely prospect given the plethora of talent Everton possess in this position; you have to earn such status.
His infamous FA Cup winner against Liverpool was, of course, a high-point and will be cherished. He is also a handy player due to his versatility – playing at right-back and the right of midfield last season – and so could be missed if injuries hit. Though currently injured himself, Gosling has been nurtured well at Goodison and he could potentially become a sound player. However, in terms of first-team importance, his departure will not be of great significance. His best position was not established, his all-round ability left many Evertonians unconvinced and, as mentioned, he is some way off deserving a regular central midfield role.
Nonetheless the whole affair still left me listlessly sat on the edge of my bed punching my own thighs in mild frustration and incredulity – I’ve got big dark bruises up and down my dear legs – simply due to the farcical nature of events and the loss of precious, precious pretty green.
Where is young Dan going then? Well, it looks like Newcastle are set to secure his services. An England under-21 on a free, it is clearly a good bit of business for Chris Houghton. During a vital season back in the Premier League he will be a useful asset and, if he continues to develop, he could potentially prosper.
Elsewhere, goalkeepers have been the major source of transfer action. Following the arrival of Slovakian international Jan Mucha, Carlo Nash was pretty much superfluous and was duly released. Stoke swooped quickly, and the 36-year-old looks likely to offer back-up at the Britannia; a stadium he knows well, having played for Stoke on loan during the 2007/08 season.
Young John Ruddy has also left the club, joining Norwich on a three year deal. The 23-year-old played over 40 times for his hometown club of Cambridge United, before joining Everton for £250,000 in 2005. Unfortunately he was not really able to find a place in the squad set-up and made only one appearance; replacing the dismissed Iain Turner during a 1-0 against Blackburn in February 2006. Indeed, despite his relative potential, it seems 26-year-old Turner was ahead of Ruddy in the support cast pecking order. Given his youth, John was sent out on numerous loan deals to gain experience – eight different clubs in all (yup, eight) – but has finally made a permanent move to The Canaries.
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