Why Everton should cash in on Maarten Stekelenburg in January
The 37-year-old former Dutch international was the designated second-choice behind undisputed first-choice Jordan Pickford last season but he currently finds himself as the third-choice at Goodison Park following the arrival of Jonas Lossl from Huddersfield Town in the summer.
Stekelenburg, who is out of contract at the end of the ongoing season, will be free to negotiate a pre-contract with other clubs when the transfer window reopens in January but as per the report, the Toffees are determined to cash in on the veteran in order to recoup some funds.
Born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, Maarten Stekelenburg graduated from the youth system at Ajax and made a staggering 282 appearances for his boyhood club across all competitions over the course of nine full seasons, winning as many as nine major honours, including two Eredivisie titles, in the process.
Having played second-fiddle to Man United legend Edwin van der Sar at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2008, Stekelenburg took over as the first-choice role for his nation at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and guided the Orange Army to a runners-up finish behind Spain.
The 58-cap former Dutch international shot-stopper had a fruitful stint at Roma in the Serie A following his departure from Ajax in 2011 and subsequently made his move to English football with Fulham in 2013.
However, he struggled to establish himself as the first choice and spent time on loan at Monaco and Southampton before completing a permanent transfer to Everton in 2016.
Stekelenburg made 21 appearances in an injury-hit first season at Goodison Park but he has slipped down the pecking order drastically thereafter, playing only 5 times since the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
Now with Marco Silva in charge, the veteran shot-stopper finds himself completely lost in the cold after being usurped by Jonas Lossl. Unsurprisingly, he is yet to make a single appearance in any competition this term, with his lack of involvement largely down to the dominance of England international Jordan Pickford.
To put things into perspective, Everton should not hesitate to run from pole to pillar in January to find a potential suitor for his services.
The Dutchman, of course, would be well within his rights to negotiate a pre-contract with some other club in January or choose to simply run down his contract and leave for free at the end of the season if he so wishes, but Everton should be wise enough to secure some kind of a fee by cashing in on him.
It is pretty evident that Stekelenburg is only next to deadwood in Silva’s ranks at the moment and getting him off the books in January looks like a fair settlement for all parties.
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Looking at things from the player’s perspective, the Dutchman is very much at the twilight of his illustrious career at 37, and the prospect of hanging up his boots with one last hurrah might appeal to him rather than just warming the benches at Everton.
That said, Everton should not hesitate to cash in on the out-of-favour goalkeeper during the mid-season trading period.