Former Everton star expects some “surprise departures” this summer

Former Everton defender and Liverpool Echo columnist Michael Ball believes there could be some “surprise departures” from the club this summer in what looks set to be another busy transfer window.

With the Toffees looking set to end the season in seventh position following a drop off in their form in recent weeks, Ronald Koeman will be looking to make some big additions in order to try and cope with the demands of Europa League football next term, as well as moving the Merseyside outfit one step closer to competing for a Champions League qualification spot.

The Dutchman has already been linked with a number of new players, but Ball – who scored eight goals in 121 appearances for Everton between 1996 and 2001 – believes those coming into the club could put the futures of some first team players into doubt.

The form of Morgan Schneiderlin, Tom Davies and Idrissa Gueye has already limited Gareth Barry’s playing time this season for example, and he could look to move on to pastures new to ensure he is playing regularly if there are any more arrivals in the centre of midfield.

The 47-year-old told the Liverpool Echo: “There promises to be a revolving door at Goodison this summer.

“But as well as the expected glut of incomings, there could also be a series of exits. And I wouldn’t rule out there being some surprise departures either.”

“Everton will need a squad big enough to be able to handle the added demands of Europa League football but Ronald Koeman has made it clear that having too many players creates too many problems.

“For example, Gareth Barry looks like facing more time on the bench against next season so will he want to stay?”

After taking just one point from the last nine available, Everton host Watford on Friday night before travelling to face Arsenal at the Emirates on the final day of the Premier League season.