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Mike Ashley seeing Newcastle United bargains as Everton release £55m quartet?

1 week ago
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Mike Ashley has increasingly looked to free transfers and loan deals as his ‘strategy’ for Premier League survival.

This is summed up by the fact that nine of the fourteen first team squad players signed since Steve Bruce’s arrival, haven’t seen a fee paid for a permanent deal.

Only five players bought these last four transfer windows – Joelinton, Wilson, Krafth, Saint-Maximin and Lewis.

This summer we have once again heard the rumblings that once again Mike Ashley has instructed Lee Charnley and Steve Bruce that frees and loans is where they will be doing most (all) of their shopping.

The Newcastle United owner showing more willing than in the past, to pay bigger wages to older players based on no transfer fee having been paid.

Friday has seen Everton confirm four players are now up for grabs for nothing, in terms of transfer fee anyway.

The quartet having originally cost the scousers £55m but now let go for zero cash return:

Joshua King – 29 year old striker, cost £5m in February 2021 and has made no Premier League starts for Everton, only 137 minutes played in 11 brief sub appearances.

Theo Walcott – 32 year old winger / attacking player, cost £20m in January 2018 and has made 54 PL starts for Everton. Did well at Southampton on loan this past 2020/21 season.

Yannick Bolasie – 32 year old winger / attacking player, cost Everton £26n back in 2016, has only started 23 PL matches for them in his five years since. Did ok in a loan spell at Middlesbrough last season.

Muhamed Besic – 28 year old midfielder bought for £4m in 2014,  only making 22 PL starts for the blue scousers this past seven years.

Personally, I think both King and Walcott would be decent additions, though Newcastle / Mike Ashley would have to be willing to compete on wages.

Newcastle United have been linked with both in the past, especially Josh King. Not so long ago he was rated as a £20m striker and Everton only got him for £5m as he was only months away from seeing his Bournemouth deal run out. He would be seeing familiar faces in Wilson and Fraser if following them to St James Park.

Everton Official Announcement:

‘Everton can confirm Joshua King, Theo Walcott, Yannick Bolasie and Muhamed Besic will leave the Club when their current contracts expire at the end of the month, while on-loan goalkeeper Robin Olsen will return to his parent club Roma.

In the Under-23s squad, Josh Bowler, Dennis Adeniran, Matthew Pennington, Con Ouzounidis, Callum Connolly and Bobby Carroll will be released at the end of this month.

Nathan Broadhead, Ryan Astley and Joe Anderson have all been offered new deals, while the Club has taken the option to extend Kyle John’s contract until the end of June 2022.

In the Under-18s, Daniel Lowey, Jack McIntyre and Dylan Thompson have been released, with Liam Higgins having his scholarship extended for a third year.

Everton wishes to thank all departing players for their contribution throughout their time at the Club.’

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