Everton Loan Watch: September 2018

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Ashley Williams of Stoke looks on after the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Brentford at Bet365 Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)
STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - AUGUST 11: Ashley Williams of Stoke looks on after the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Brentford at Bet365 Stadium on August 11, 2018 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images) /

We detail the progress of every Everton player who is currently out on loan.

Another season starts, and so a batch of players depart Everton on loan. Much like 2017-18, it’s a mixed cohort.

Several questionable signings from the Ronald Koeman era have been leased, as rival clubs prefer to adopt a ‘try-before-you-buy approach’ with Goodison’s deadwood. As expected, a group of talented youngsters have left temporarily too, with the aim of gaining valuable first-team experience to bring back to the big club.

Of the group who ended last season on loan, Kieran Dowell and Ademola Lookman remain in contention at the club.

Tyias Browning, Brendan Galloway and Matthew Pennington are training at Finch Farm too, albeit with the reserves. At least one of this group should depart Everton on loan this year.

At the point of writing, Everton have a whopping 13 players out on loan, with the potential for further exits in the coming months. We assess the performance of this group below:

Ashley Williams – Stoke City

Ashley Williams will be remembered as a Goodison flop. After a decent debut season, the former Welsh National Captain declined quickly. Williams is the wrong side of thirty, and this was made obvious by his languid play in the 2017-18 season.

His poor performances could not be entirely attributed to age though. Williams’ lack of pace was parralleled by a series of disinterested and petulant displays. As such, he was isolated from the first team and sent to Stoke.

Unfortunately, the Welshman has hardly looked imperious in the Championship either. As with Everton last year, Williams’ lack of speed is a major concern – and he has found himself out of position all to often in his first few games in the league below. Ryan Shawcross, his partner at the back in Staffordshire, is hardly full of running either. Indeed, their sluggish double-act looks untenable if the Potters are serious about promotion.

Williams has been an excellent professional, who has worked his way up the leagues and demonstrated great leadership skills with Swansea City and Everton. However, his career is on the wane. A poor start with Stoke is further proof of this fact.

Henry Onyekuru – Galatasaray

Earlier this summer, we suggested that Henry Onyekuru was the best Everton prospect who had never actually played for Everton. We had good reason for this. He scored a healthy ten goals in 28 appearances for Anderlecht in 2017-18, and caught the eye during the Belgian team’s short-lived Champions League campaign.

Due to work permit issues, Onyekuru cannot currently play in the UK. For the second consecutive year, he has been loaned out, this time to Galatasaray in Turkey.

Despite being part of a far more competitive squad than Anderlecht, Onyekuru has managed to start a few league games in Turkey, and score too. His debut, game-winning goal against Göztepe was sublime – an audacious chip from 25 yards out that was executed effortlessly.

All in all, Everton’s surprise package has made a flying start in Turkey. For context, Cenk Tosun managed 20 goals in his last full season in the same league. With two goals in the league already, Onyekuru could definitely chase down this target. This would be an incredible achievement. Remember, he is just 21-years-old

Nikola Vlašić – CSKA Moscow

Nikola Vlašić was an enigmatic figure in Everton’s topsy-turvy 2017-18 season. The young Croatian winger arrived unheralded from Hajduk Split and offered little in his admittedly sporadic Premier League appearances. It’s difficult to say what Vlašić’s potential is. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to defend his transfer at this stage in his Everton career.

After a somewhat surprising exclusion from first-team training by Marco Silva, Vlašić left Everton for Russia on a season-long loan at CSKA Moscow. He has since started twice in the league and looked solid. Notably, he has managed five shots in this time according to WhoScored. This is a far-cry from his performance last year, when he managed a paltry 0.4 shots per game.

I can’t help feel that this loan spell is a win-win for Everton. The Blues have an excellent opportunity to run the rule over Vlašić, as he tots up minutes in a competitive European League. If he leaves, Everton stand to make a profit. If he improves and returns to Finch Farm next summer, Marco Silva should have a far better idea of his potential, skill-set and limits.

Muhamed Bešić – Middlesborough

The long goodbye continues.

Having been frozen out from the Everton first team since 2016, Bešić left Merseyside for his second loan-spell with Middleborough in as many seasons. Last year, the Bosnian made 15 league appearances for the North-Eastern club, and quickly became a lynchpin in their Championship promotion push.

Bešić has played just two games for the ‘Boro so far. Yet, he seems to have slotted back into their team effortlessly. Expect him to excel with Tony Pulis’ side, and complete a permanent move in the January transfer window.

Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly – Wigan

After successful seasons elsewhere in the Championship, both Antonee Robinson and Callum Connolly leave Everton for Wigan – a mere 20 miles from Merseyside. Both players are probably good enough to contend for Everton, however a bloated squad would have limited their opportunities this year at Goodison.

Wigan have made a patchy start to the season – and currently sit in 13th in the league. Robinson has been at the centre of the action, starting all four league games and creating a series a chances in the Latics’ 3-0 win against Stoke. Connolly, meanwhile, has struggled to hold down a place in the Wigan midfield – losing a starting position to Lee Evans and Nick Powell.

Going forward, both players need to consolidate a place in the Wigan team, and build on their strong 2017-18 seasons. Everton fans should be particularly excited about Antonee Robinson. The American-born fullback already has one full International Cap, and has impressed Wigan fans with his strong start to the season (HITC). Could he be the long-term successor to Leighton Baines?

Honorable Mentions

Cuco Martina and Yannick Bolaise departed Everton for Championship clubs towards the end of August. Martina started for Stoke in the League Cup against Huddersfield Town, and looked solid. Joe Williams has been lent to Bolton Wanderers – but is yet to start

In European, Shani Tarashaj has also failed to play since he was sent to Grasshoppers, Switzerland, in mid August. Kevin Mirallas meanwhile, has not featured for Fiorentina in Serie A. Sandro Ramirez left Everton on deadline day for Real Sociedad.

Next. Sandro Jets Off to Real Sociedad on Loan. dark

Luke Garbutt departed Everton on loan for Oxford. The 24-year-old has not made a good start to his spell in League One. HITC report that Garbutt was recently criticised by Oxford fans for a particularly poor performance against Portsmouth.