Marcel Brands is finally getting rid of a three-year Everton problem with Matthew Pennington now likely to leave Goodison Park as a free agent in the summer.
Pennington has spent most of the past four campaigns away from Merseyside through various loan moves, and secured his latest switch with a half-season deal to join League One side Shrewsbury Town until the end of the 2020/21 term.
Carlo Ancelotti does not envisage Pennington ever forcing his way into the Everton first-team picture with Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite all contesting for minutes.
Pennington has joined third-tier Shrewsbury as he is hungry to taste regular action again, having featured as an over-aged player in David Unsworth’s Under 23s this term after a stinted year with Hull City that returned just 14 Championship appearances last season.
The 26-year-old centre-back has featured just nine times for Everton’s first-team since his debut under Roberto Martinez in 2015, with his last senior Toffees outing coming in April 2017 before spells with Leeds United, Ipswich Town, the Tigers and now Shrewsbury.
It has been a long journey to the end of the road for Pennington at Goodison Park, but his final destination is almost in sight with Everton currently against presenting a new contract to a player they have considered parting company with for years.
Toffees chiefs had wanted to sell the defender last summer upon his return from Hull, having failed to do so the year before despite interest from a string of Championship sides, including Wigan Athletic, after a solid season with Ipswich.
Now, the Blues are set to part ways with Pennington without earning any compensation for a defender who has been on the club’s books since the age of 11, and end years of struggles trying to find a better-matched home for him.
Pennington was praised by Hull boss Grant McCann during his time at the KCOM, despite only making 16 appearances, who believed good things would come for the Everton dud.
“He’s a tremendous professional, he really, really is. He’s one of the earliest in every day at quarter past eight. He’s there having his breakfast and he’s a terrific lad,” he said, via quotes by Hull Live. “When he goes out there, he gives everything. He’s a lovely, lovely boy and hopefully good things will come to him.”
Good things were not to be found at Everton, and Brands’ only decision now is to allow him to leave as a free agent.
AND in other news, Everton are showing a determination to sign a £13.5m titan for free.