Everton player contract renewal throws short term future of £12 million man in doubt

Everton (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images) /

For the first time in years, Everton will be stepping into the transfer window without wanting to sign a right back. The Toffees acquired Nathan Patterson from Rangers in the January transfer window, a signing that aimed to solve a long standing problem. It assured Everton of having a long term successor to Seamus Coleman.

After many failed pursuits for Max Aarons, Tariq Lamptey, Diogo Dalot and even Patterson, Everton finally succeeded in January 2022 in bringing the Scotland full back to Goodison Park. He arrived for a fee of £12 million, a record fee received by Rangers for any of their players. Arriving in England at the age of 20, Patterson was relatively unknown outside the Scottish circles.

Patterson is still in the embryonic stages of his career. In fact, he still hasn’t even played 50 games as a senior meaning that the Scotsman is still taking baby steps in his career, and a move to the Premier League was like throwing him into a ring of fire. The 20 year old is still developing and needs proper incubation before he’s thrown into the fray.

With the arrival of Patterson, it was almost certain that Jonjoe Kenny will not be offered an extension whose deal was running out in the summer of 2022. Coleman would be able to provide counsel to the inexperienced yet burgeoning youngster and when the time is right, the baton would be passed to Patterson.

Kenny’s renewal throws Nathan Patterson’s short term Everton future in doubt

Reportedly, Kenny has been offered a three year deal which does come as a surprise. Under Frank Lampard, Kenny’s inclusion in the team did increase as the Toffees battled with injuries to full backs with Kenny operating at right back as well as left back. Patterson also picked up an injury and underwent ankle surgery which prematurely ended his season in April.

Hence, having another right back in the squad made sense. However, with Patterson fit for the next season and captain Coleman still an integral part of the squad, there’s little merit behind Everton offering Kenny a new deal. In fact, if Lampard and Everton see Kenny as a backup to Coleman in near future, Patterson’s situation gets tricky.

The Toffees did not pay a huge sum of money for the young, flying full back for him to simply warm the bench. Even if he’s still a young prospect, the Scottish full back needs minutes, the minutes that he might not get at Everton immediately.

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Patterson’s short term future is in doubt as playing time may not come easily for him next season. If that is the case, a loan move would be the best outcome for the 20 year old. Kenny’s renewal does cast doubts on the short term future of Patterson and Everton cannot let the young full back reach stagnancy in terms of playing time.

The solution to this problem could instead be loaning out Kenny and keeping Patterson as an understudy to Coleman. If luck favours Everton and Kenny has a decent loan campaign, the Toffees could end up cashing in on the homegrown talent and Patterson could continue to learn the trade from Coleman.

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Will Nathan Patterson play more regularly next season?