Marcel Brands must avoid offering Kyle John a new contract and keeping him at Everton amid doubt in the defender’s long-term Goodison Park future.
What’s the word?
According to the Liverpool Echo, John is one of 13 first-team and Under 23 players who are currently due to be out of contract this summer.
Everton are unlikely to retain most of those facing uncertain futures, as Director of Football Brands is striving to continue his work lowering an inflated wage bill.
The Toffees are due to part with senior quartet Yannick Bolasie, Theo Walcott, Matthew Pennington and Muhamed Besic when their contracts expire in June, and will also allow a number of academy talents to depart to lower the average age of David Unsworth’s side.
John has been a regular for the Blues’ U23s this term with 11 Premier League 2 starts, but Everton are undecided on retaining the young right-back or teammates Joseph Anderson, Con Ouzounidis and Ryan Astley.
Josh Bowler, Nathan Broadhead and goalkeeper Nico Hansen are also expected to leave when their contracts lapse, along with Dennis Adeniran and Callum Connolly who sealed loan exits in January.
Should Everton retain John?
While John has been at Everton for the past 14-years, this summer must represent the end of their journey together as the defender with dual English and Welsh citizenship will not be expected to make a first-team career for himself at Goodison Park.
The Toffees’ coaching staff were noted last year to see John as being in the mould of the modern-day full-back and having the athleticism needed in the role, but he has not kicked on and progressed into the senior game.
While the likes of Adeniran and Connolly sealed loan exits in January during the last year of their Blues contracts, John remained at Finch Farm and has earned nine of his 11 PL2 starts for the season after the turn of the year.
The 20-year-old John has never once played for a club outside of Everton’s academy, where the Chester-born prospect is described as a “class act”, and may be blocked from progressing on the same path as Jonjoe Kenny this summer.
Everton are widely reported to be in the market for a new right-back who can become Carlo Ancelotti’s long-term heir to Seamus Coleman, and face paying £30-35m for Max Aarons, £30m for Tariq Lamptey or £17m for Diogo Dalot.
If either join, John would have little expectations of becoming a first-team player at Everton over the next few years, even if Unsworth once noted “he’s got terrific pace” and was “a bundle of energy up and down the right”.