Three reasons why 30-year-old PL playmaker would improve Everton, six months left on contract
COMMENT By Will Butcher
Ibrahim Afellay would be a top signing at Everton as his future remains in doubt at Premier League rivals Stoke City.
The Stoke Sentinel claim that Afellay could be about to be offered a new contract under Mark Hughes, but Toffees boss Ronald Koeman should look to rival Stoke for his signature.
Afellay, 30, has featured just twice for Stoke after returning from injury in the 4-1 loss to Liverpool, but could be tempted if Everton make a January offer.
Six months left on deal
The former Barcelona and Schalke ace has just six months remaining on his current Britannia Stadium contract. Allowed to talk to non-English clubs over the possibility of a new contract, Afellay could be available for in a cut-price deal come January. Everton should look to pounce for the attacking midfielder if he is available on the cheap, as he could provide the spark to reignite Toffees’ 2016-17 campaign.
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Ross Barkley struggling
Everton’s number eight has failed to live up to his lofty expectations this season, with rumours even circulating that Koeman could cash in on him. The England international has even been pushed out wide to include someone else into the number 10 role, as he continues to search for rhythm with star striker Romelu Lukaku. Replacing Barkley, Afellay could become a crucial signing as Koeman looks to compete with the Premier League’s top six.
Both Koeman and Afellay worked together during when Koeman was at PSV Eindhoven for a year in 2006-07, and forming a reunion at Goodison Park could bring the best out of the attacker. In that season, the two Dutchmen combined to win the Eredivisie with Afellay acting as PSV’s heartbeat by scoring six goals in 27 league games from midfield. Reigniting that connection at Everton would see the Toffees look much more dangerous in attack, and finally get the best out of Lukaku.
In other Everton transfer news, Conor Grant signs new deal with the Toffees.