Greg O’Keeffe has dropped an update on the future of Everton outcast Bernard…
According to Greg O’Keeffe of The Athletic, Bernard is closing in on an exit from Goodison Park this week and looks set for a move to UAE side Sharjah.
O’Keeffe has claimed that the word from UAE is that there has been an agreement between the two sides, with the Brazilian now poised to leave the club ahead of next season.
Everton fans will surely be buzzing with this news as the club are on the verge of shedding the Brazilian’s wages off the bill. He is reportedly on £120k-per-week and the top-earner alongside Yerry Mina, with Lucas Digne just behind the pair on £119k-per-week.
The forward has not done anywhere near enough to warrant such a pay packet whilst in England. Bernard has racked up five goals and five assists in three seasons, starting 43 Premier League matches in that time. Across his three campaigns for the club, he averaged WhoScored ratings of 6.60, 6.56 and 6.41 respectively – getting progressively worse each year.
This shows that he has been underperforming and not living up to his wages, which is why fans will be happy to see the back of him. To back up his lack of impact on the pitch, Everton journalist Gavin Buckland called Bernard lightweight last year and questioned his future at the club due to his lack of regular first-team football. He said:
“He’s been here two seasons. If you’ve been at a club two seasons and you’ve not really nailed down a first-team place, you’ve got to be asking questions about what your long-term or medium-term future is.
“He’s far too lightweight.
“He has his moments of excellence, as we well know, but whether he’d be somebody you’d hang your hat on to produce good performances week in week out is open to question.”
Everton have been paying him £120k-per-week to not be a regular starter and rarely contribute with end product in front of goal. This is why this update from O’Keeffe will be music to the ears of the supporters and, hopefully, a deal can be pushed over the line in the coming days and Bernard will no longer be a Toffee.
Getting his wages off the bill could also free up funds for the club to reinvest back into a new signing. The club will be saving £6.2m-per-season by letting him go along with however much Sharjah are paying for his services. This could then be used to strengthen elsewhere in the side, giving Rafa Benitez and Marcel Brands some additional money to work with.