What’s Next For Joel Robles And Maarten Stekelenburg
Ronald Koeman wants to be pro-active this summer as he is already getting deals done for his top transfer targets this summer. They have already completed their first signing in Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford and many more arrivals are expected at the club.
The sole bright light in what was a dim season for the Black Cats that saw them drop to the Championship in embarrassing circumstances, Pickford emerged as one of the best shot-stoppers in the league last season. Standing behind a pretty abysmal and out of form backline under David Moyes, Pickford put in some stellar performances in a few crunch games that got them some points on the board.
Everton were one of the many English clubs that wanted to keep Pickford in the Premier League and reports suggest that they agreed on a deal for the 23-year old for a £25m fee which could potentially rise to £30m. He is expected to be the first choice next season and two players who will now be fighting for their place at the Goodison Park are Maarten Stekelenburg and Joel Robles.
Robles has been at the Goodison Park for more than three years now but has not been able to establish himself in the first team under any of the previous managers at Everton. Ronald Koeman was no different and decided to spend on the experienced Stekelenburg, hoping to add some experience to this position in place of the outgoing Tim Howard at the start of the season.
However, the Dutch star is now 34 and may not be at the club for too long. Robles, on the other hand, is just 26 and could have a future at Everton. This is where it gets tricky for Koeman. He does not need three first team shot-stoppers at the club next season, meaning he will have to get rid of either Robles or Stekelenburg this summer.
Pickford is 23 and will need an experienced mentor who can allow him to settle into the rigours of playing for a club like Everton. He has made 19 PL appearances, keeping 4 clean sheets, and is out of a contract at the end of next season. He will not fetch a lot of money this summer, so Koeman might be tempted to stick with him for another campaign.
The 26-year old kept 10 clean sheets in his 20 league appearances for Everton and could act as an able backup for Robles. As already mentioned, Everton do not need more than two shot-stoppers, as they are only domestically active next season. But they have a comfortable situation, where they can allow their new buy to settle in easily by letting go of a player who is past his prime.
Surely, the goalkeeping department at Everton is healthy but one of the two existing goalkeepers could leave this summer.