Marcel Brands must brutally axe Fabian Delph in the January transfer window with the Everton dud touted for a potential winter exit as part of a vast clear-out at Goodison Park.
According to The Telegraph, Toffees Director of Football Brands intends to use the mid-season market as his chance to clear the high-earning deadwood from his side’s bloated wage bill.
Everton are in a position where they must sell those offering little impact before dipping into the January sales, as the need to balance the books is high after last summer’s investment saw Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, James Rodriguez and Ben Godfrey arrive.
Several players who have seen little game time under Carlo Ancelotti are said to be at risk of the chop, with Yannick Bolasie, Cenk Tosun, Muhamed Besic, Bernard and Delph all facing uncertain futures.
Bolasie and Besic were both omitted from Ancelotti’s 25-man Premier League squad, while Tosun, Delph and Bernard have featured for just 44, 212 and 273 of a possible 1,440 top-flight minutes thus far this season.
Delph is currently sidelined with a hamstring strain sustained in December’s draw at Burnley, where he had been fielded as a makeshift left-back following the loss of Lucas Digne after the Frenchman required surgery for an ankle ligament injury picked up in training.
Brands may struggle to find a suitor willing to purchase Delph in the January window with the former England international sidelined through injury, but his services must be put on the market whilst he continues to bleed Everton owner Farhad Moshiri dry.
Delph has cost Everton close to £600,000 a game and rising since joining from Manchester City in 2019, with the midfielder making just 27 appearances across all competitions since arriving at Goodison Park in a £10m deal and penning an £80,000-per-week contract.
Those terms are due to expire in the summer of 2022, as well, making it even more important for Everton to reach a decision on Delph’s future as soon as possible to avoid the 31-year-old entering the final 12-months of his deal and consider leaving as a free agent.
Everton would struggle to miss Delph’s talents with Jean-Philippe Gbamin nearing a return to group training and the summer arrival of Allan, while Tom Davies has fared well in recent weeks whilst partnering Doucoure in the engine room.
Andre Gomes put his recent struggles to the side to add a creative touch in Friday’s defeat to West Ham, too, only serving to push Delph further out of contention for minutes in his natural midfield role were he fit to play.