Everton must consider terminating the contract of yet another one of their fringe players by allowing Matthew Pennington to walk away as a free agent.
Pennington has entered into the final year of his Everton contract but stands little chance of ending his time at Goodison Park with any further appearances in Royal Blue, four years on from his Premier League debut under Roberto Martinez.
The Spaniard gifted Pennington six of his nine first-team appearances, lauding him after a game against Leicester, before being replaced by Ronald Koeman, who handed out the final three, with each manager since opting to send the defender out on loan.
Pennington’s lack of a breakthrough left the 26-year-old hoping to sever his long-standing ties with Everton earlier in the summer whilst still on loan with Hull City, having informed the local media that he would use the off-season transfer window to find a new home.
“I’m thinking I need a home in the summer, somewhere to put my roots down and crack on with my career,” he said, via quotes by the Yorkshire Post. “I’ve been on loan quite a lot now so I’m looking for that place to settle down and really push on with my career.”
Everton chiefs had likewise been hopeful of finding Pennington a new club before Monday’s Deadline Day, and could yet still offload the Warrington-born centre-half to a Championship side before October 16 with the window still open between Premier League and EFL clubs.
But with interest so far appearing slim, Blues chiefs would be well advised seeking a mutual termination of the defender’s remaining contract after allowing Sandro Ramirez to join SD Huesca without a fee on Deadline Day to end his miserable stay on Merseyside.
Everton have kept Pennington on tenterhooks for years with loan spells to Tranmere Rovers and Coventry as a youth, before deals to join Walsall, Leeds United, Ipswich Town and most recently Hull last term, where he made just 14 Championship outings after a lengthy spell on the bench.
His stock may never have been lower, and as such has yet to find the new home he desired so much if Everton have been adamant on receiving any form of fee for a defender that’s been on their books for 15 years.
But Everton chiefs must realise that interest in Pennington may only come once his Toffees days are over and accept that like Sandro, drastic measures are needed and that he must have his contract mutually terminated in the next week rather than waste another year of his career.
By doing so, the Blues will allow Pennington to secure a deal before EFL managers finalise their plans and there is no place left for the 26-year-old to ply his trade other than in Everton’s Under 23s – as he has so far this season, and that is no place for a 26-year-old to be on a regular basis.