Young English talent is extremely lucrative in the transfer market. For any team in England – non-league minnow to Champions League giant – the unearthing of a new, local starlet is guaranteed to be a big news.
There have been dozens of examples of players starting at the bottom and working their way to the top – look no further than Leicester hot-shot Jamie Vardy, who has been in scintillating form for the Foxes. But, there are some sides in the Premier League that have recruited potential future stars on a whim, some who have only been 17-year-old gambles. A few pay-off and many don’t – that’s football.
But, Everton are a club that have a whole pool of young English talent at their disposal. The Merseysiders have bought wisely when needed, but have not neglected their own youth academy.
However, as their starlets have grown and ultimately progressed to the first-team, the transfer rumours have begun to fly in at a startling pace, and rightly so.
Two of Everton’s biggest young stars are amongst the best players in the Premier League, lauded for their performances week after week. John Stones and Ross Barkley are undoubtedly two players that have big futures ahead of them. They’ve proved it for club and country and it is difficult to see them remaining with the Toffees for the entirety of their careers if they continue with the solid performances.
But should Everton cash in? John Stones has been linked with a massive £40m transfer to Chelsea, while Barkley has been linked with a £35m move to Manchester City. This could bank Everton a huge £75m – an astronomical sum of money.
It’s a difficult predicament for Roberto Martinez. In Stones and Barkley he has two of England’s brightest gems. But as they get older, their value will only begin to diminish. They’re edging towards their prime right now, and I find it difficult to see them growing vastly in value from here on in.
This is seemingly the only time that Everton will be offered such a high amount for both players, unfortunately, though, it may be at the same time.
Should they take the offers, they will have a large amount of money to play with. Yes, some will be reinvested into the club where needs be, but I’d predict Martinez could take as much as £50m out of that kitty should it come through.
And look at some of the youngsters Everton have signed in the past couple of seasons – Romelu Lukaku, Brendan Galloway, and James McCarthy. Arguably the next crop of exciting young talent.
It’s a win-win for the Toffees in my eyes. They cash in and reinvest again, or they hold out and get to keep two of Europe’s most sought after stars. It’s difficult to see what will happen as the transfer window grows ever-deeper but at some point, a decision will have to be made on the Blue side of Liverpool.