Despite Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams being released by Everton at the end of their respective contracts, the Toffees appear willing to let another central defender leave this summer – Matthew Pennington, who has been linked with a move to Stoke City.
Marco Silva only has Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as first-team options for next season, but there doesn’t seem to be a place for the returning Pennington after his loan spell at Ipswich Town. The 24-year-old made 31 appearances for the Tractor Boys last season, scoring one goal.
He suffered relegation from the Championship and isn’t deemed to be at the level required to play for a top-eight Premier League club. With Pennington making only nine appearances for Everton in three years, it’s clear he’s surplus to requirements at Goodison Park.
Vital Everton recently pondered if letting Jagielka go was a wise move due to the lack of defenders left in the first-team, but the club wouldn’t benefit from keeping Pennington.
The Englishman’s last outing for the Toffees came against Leicester City on April 9, 2017, and he’s made more appearances on loan (Tranmere, Coventry, Walsall, Leeds, Ipswich) than he has at his boyhood club.