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Everton: Lampard could ditch Ruben Vinagre in January

Everton have found themselves struggling in the Premier League once again this season despite Frank Lampard‘s efforts to improve the team with eight new signings in the summer.

Indeed, there have been some positives to take from the recruitment ahead of the current campaign with James Tarkowski and Conor Coady forming a formidable defensive partnership very quickly into their arrival at Goodison Park.

However, with the Merseysiders now teetering on the edge of the relegation zone – just one point shy of the bottom three after losing their last three consecutive outings – there is no doubt that some careful assessments will need to be made when the January transfer window opens later this week.

Frank Lampard will be desperate to continue to strengthen his team when the opportunity arises in the new year, although he may already be about to lose one of his newly-signed players over the next few weeks too.

It has been reported that super agent Jorge Mendes is pulling the strings to remove Ruben Vinagre from his season-long loan deal with the Toffees after failing to gain consistent game time at the club and is already assessing his player’s options with another loan move elsewhere not being ruled out.

It’s safe to say that Vinagre has struggled to make himself known in Lampard’s squad since joining in the summer and is clearly not capable of competing with Vitaliy Mykolenko for the starting spot in the left-back position in the eyes of the Everton manager.

The rarely-seen dud – who has a £17.6m price tag if Everton wanted to buy him after his loan spell – has only made two Premier League appearances over their first 16 outings averaging at just 15 minutes performance.

During those opportunities, Vinagre has been effective in his role by completing 100% of his dribbles and winning 67% of his duels combined, as well as averaging one tackle per game.

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However, if Lampard doesn’t see him as a player who can be part of the future at Goodison Park it is pointless to hold on and would mutually benefit both the club and the player if they parted ways sooner rather than later.

With that being said, the January transfer window will be full of opportunities for Lampard to improve Everton’s performances over the second half of the season by not only offering the manager the chance to strengthen key roles but also to clear out players who do not fit his philosophy for a successful future.