Spurs eye Everton midfielder as new contract discussed

James Garner who signed for the Toffees last summer from Manchester United is under contract at Goodison Park until June next year.
Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League / Naomi Baker/GettyImages

Everton secured the young midfielder's signature from United after he had performed well on loan for Nottingham Forest in their successful promotion bid the previous season.

Now they seem ready to offer him a new deal to ward off interest from other Premier League clubs, most of all Tottenham.

Garner joined the club for around £15 million last summer and soon got into the Blues first team playing a total of thirty-seven matches for the Toffees in the Premier League.

His strengths are particularly around ball-winning and putting good crosses in from wider areas when contributing to the team's attacking play.

Although he usually played in a deeper central midfield role, he was also operating in both the right and left wing positions at times.

It is still not certain what Garner's best position actually is because he has moved around quite a lot, as was also the case with his central midfield team-mate Amadou Onana.

For me ideally, I think he should play in a more advanced role where he can look to try and play the positive forward passes he is capable of and link up with the forwards more consistently.

That means though that if Onana leaves this summer - as looks very likely - then someone else will have to step in and perform that deeper lying number six-type role.

Obviously, in the short-term that would be Idrissa Gueye who's own contract included a further year's extension that Everton have activated.

However, he is 34 and realistically cannot be expected to continue to perform at Premier League level for much longer.

There are a few players out there who might fit the bill and could be affordable, such as Sheffield United's Vinicius Souza (who we have on this site previously highlighted) Luton Town's Albert Lokonga or maybe Kalvin Phillips, who the Blues are strongly linked with at the moment.

Garner is also one of several younger Everton players who Sean Dyche can perhaps look to as a nucleus to build around for the future.

Others might include players such as Jarrad Branthwaite (if he can keep him!) Dwight McNeil, Vitalii Mykolenko, Nathan Patterson - if all his injury problems are behind him soon - and perhaps Youssef Chermiti too.

Anyway, such longer-term planning is perhaps a bit too optimistic given all the challenges the Toffees face and the need to just ensure the club survives the summer.

But tying Garner down to a longer deal makes sense as he is a consistent, versatile and useful player to have in the squad.