Marcel Brands faces a huge battle to sell Josh Bowler during the January transfer window with the forgotten Everton flop looking to secure a permanent exit this month.
According to the Liverpool Echo, Bowler is keen to sever his ties with the Goodison Park natives during the mid-season market, rather than wait until the summer when he would become a free agent.
The winger is in the final six-months of his £3,000-per-week contract but has failed to break through into Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team squad after a season on loan with Hull City, while hip surgery in October has kept the 21-year-old sidelined.
Bowler, who won the Premier League 2 title under David Unsworth in 2018/19, is believed to be nearing a return to fitness and hopes to feature against Liverpool later this month when Everton’s Under 23s host their inner-city rivals.
He had scored twice in three PL2 appearances before going under the knife to take his U23s tally to five goals and one assist in 38 appearances, after netting once and creating a goal in 31 outings with the Tigers across all competitions last term.
Hull held a £5m option to purchase Bowler at the end of his temporary spell at the KCOM Stadium but chose against activating the clause following their relegation to League One.
Brands must do all he can to facilitate a permanent exit for Bowler in the January transfer window and grant the forgotten 21-year-old his wish, as there is little expectation of the forward suddenly emerging in Ancelotti’s plans and earning his senior Everton debut.
The Toffees agreed a deal worth £1.5m rising to £4.25m with Queens Park Rangers to sign Bowler in 2017 but the decision has not paid off, even though Unsworth once lauded the Chertsey-born forward as being capable of producing magic.
“Josh Bowler was terrific. We need to get the ball to his feet in the final third and that’s where you see his magic,” he told Everton’s club website, via The Boot Room, following a 2-1 win over Sheffield United in February 2019.
Bowler was highly-rated when signed by Everton but often failed to produce any magic for Hull last term, with the forward offering just 0.2 key passes and 0.5 shots a game, making 0.9 successful dribbles and delivering just 0.1 accurate crosses, per SofaScore.
It was no wonder the Tigers passed up on paying big for the youngster following their relegation, which would have solved Everton’s problems well before Brands was left with a huge battle to find a potential suitor and avoid Bowler proving a total financial loss.