The new Director of Football at Everton Marcel Brands has told reporters the Blues have to offload up to 12 players this summer.
According to reports from the Daily Mirror, Brands – who was unveiled along with manager Marco Silva last week at the Merseyside club – says there has to be a clearance of the squad as they currently have 38 players on the books. Brands believes its “not workable for a coach to start with so many players.”
“We need also to offload players, to raise money (to spend), and also salary wise. It is not workable to start with 38 players in your squad. I think we have to look for a squad Marco can work with and I think there always has to be space for young players to come to the first team.”
Those four words often put fear into the minds of fans across the footballing landscape as it does not paint a rosy picture. But according to Brands, who has had a successful career in the Director of Football role in his native Holland (namely with PSV), that is the situation the Blues find themselves in.
It may be an unwanted comparison for Everton fans to hear, but it was exactly the same scenario which greeted Rafa Benitez when he took over the managerial hot seat on the red side of Merseyside for the commencement of the 2004/05 season, and it didn’t work out too badly for Liverpool.
Patience will be required at Goodison to get back on the straight and narrow, but a positive for the fans is that they now have a young and enthusiastic manager who will look over the squad and make the tough decisions. Brands’ comments also suggest Everton are trimming the fat to make sure there’s room for their young players to progress and become first team stars – that could well include much of the cohort that were involved in England’s U20 World Cup success last year.
There are rumoured to be some household names on the potential departure list including Wayne Rooney, Ashley Williams, Yannick Bolasie and Kevin Mirallas who will likely be looking for one last big payday at another club, along with youngsters looking to make a name for themselves like Ademola Lookman, who has greatly impressed in Germany, and young central defender Matthew Pennington.
One thing is certain; Everton will look a great deal different next season than they did on the last day of the 2017/18 campaign.