Loan Report – 2018/2019 Season Review

Henry Onyekuru

It’s been a tough task writing these this season, for a couple of reasons. The main one is the amount of dead wood we have out on loan because previous mismanagement means they’re still on our books on ridiculous wages. However, there have been a few shining stars. After assessing each of their performances every week throughout this season, here’s my take on how every Everton player has got on out on loan and my verdict out of ten on their success (or lack of):

Serie A – Italy

Kevin Mirallas (Fiorentina)


The Belgian hasn’t exactly set Serie A alight. He’s been tried out in various positions across La Viola’s front three, including up front, but has showed similar inconsistency to that of his days in royal blue. In 29 matches, he’s scored two goals and made one assist. Still with a year left on his Everton contract, Fiorentina most probably won’t exercise their option to buy Mirallas so it’ll likely be another loan move next year if he can find one.

La Liga – Spain

Sandro Ramirez (Real Sociedad)


Sandro failed to find the net during his 26 matches on loan in Spain, mostly off the bench. Not even an assist. He is still one of Everton Football Club’s highest earners on a rumoured £120,000, so might be content to see out his contract until 2021 and maybe find another loan next year if anyone will take him. Sociedad are also highly unlikely to make the deal permanent.

Super Lig – Turkey

Henry Onyekuru (Galatasaray)


Now here’s a bright spark. Onyekuru has most often played on the left wing of Gala’s attack this season, scoring 13 goals in 29 league games. He has also appeared in the Champions League and Europa League, despite not making any goals or assists in Europe. He has attracted scouts from top European clubs and there will almost certainly be offers on the table for the youngster this year, but it would be a shame not to see him in royal blue. Maybe he could be used out on the right wing, but on the left he would have to compete with Bernard and Ademola Lookman.

Premier Liga – Russia

Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow)


Vlasic still has a couple of games left of the season over in Russia after a hefty winter break, but he has shown a lot of promise over the course of his loan spell so far. Playing mainly as a central midfielder roaming the pitch but primarily in an attacking capacity, the Croatian has five goals and five assists in 24 league games as well as three goals and two assists from six in the Champions League. He is unlikely to stay at Goodison Park this summer, and has spoken out of his desire to stay with CSKA despite there being interest elsewhere. Marcel Brands and Marco Silva have made a point of wanting to keep their star players this summer, but it’s down to them whether this man counts as one of them.

Eredivisie – Netherlands

Cuco Martina (Feyenoord)


Martina is currently sitting out the final few games with an injury, but played well in Holland during his twelve games there. He was used as a centre-back at the start before shifting out to right-back, putting in several solid performances pushing up the pitch too.

He switched to Feyenoord after half a season with Stoke City, where he was liked by the manager and showed keen endeavour throughout his time there. He pushed up the pitch well but did always have a mistake in him. Feyenoord won’t exercise their option to buy due to financial difficulties, so Cuco will look for another loan with one more year remaining on his Everton contract.

First Division A – Belgium

Yannick Bolasie (Anderlecht)


Bolasie has been positive since moving out to Belgium, despite stating his desire to remain in the Premier League while out there. He has four goals and three assists in his 15 games after transferring from his loan spell at Aston Villa during the first half of the season. He was mainly used as a super-sub at Villa, and wasn’t completely happy with this role so has found more full games at Anderlecht, thriving anywhere across their front three – sometimes used as a striker. The forward still has two years left on his Everton deal.

Super League – Switzerland

Shani Tarashaj (Grasshoppers)


Tarashaj has played just eight matches out in Switzerland all season, mainly off the bench. Barely even worth writing about, still with a year left on his contract.

Scottish Championship

Shayne Lavery (Falkirk)


Lavery has only played six times for Falkirk since January, entirely off the bench. His highlight was receiving an International Recognition award from the club – possibly due to a shortage of international players. Hopefully has a bright future at a loan club where he will receive opportunities rather than awards for sitting on the bench.

Premier League

Oumar Niasse (Cardiff City)


Niasse failed to score or assist in any of his 13 Cardiff games, despite running keenly throughout. He was left out of the squad for their last couple of games, and will have to find another loan next year.


Matthew Pennington (Ipswich Town)


Pennington was a bright spark in a team which were relegated from the Championship. He was one of their best performers throughout the season, proving solid in defence with particular strengths in aerial battles and with the ball at his feet carrying it out. Hopefully he’ll get a loan to a better club next season and see how he fares with players of similar ability to his, as he looked a class above at times at Ipswich.

Antonee Robinson and Beni Baningime (Wigan Athletic)

MY VERDICT: 8/10 for Robinson, 1/10 for Baningime

Robinson started the season strongly before injuring his ankle quite badly not even halfway through it. The left-back required surgery which kept him out for some months, but he returned even stronger and finished the season on a high note with some impressive performances. These performances have encouraged me that if Leighton Baines is to leave this summer, I would be happy for the USA international to be integrated into Silva’s squad as back-up to Lucas Digne.

Beni Baningime’s loan spell, on the other hand, has been nothing short of a disaster. He played just one match before the manager decided he’d seen enough and left him out of the squad for the rest of the season. Whether he has to drop down a level for his next loan or simply go to a manager who will guarantee him of at least some playing time in the Championship remains to be seen.

Callum Connolly spent the first half of the season at Wigan also, scoring once in seventeen games as both a centre-midfielder and a left-back without really settling at the club before moving to Bolton Wanderers.

Ashley Williams (Stoke City)


Williams has a goal and an assist to his name from 33 Stoke appearances having played as a make-shift full-back at times, but he will leave Everton at the expiry of his contract on the last day of next month. He was solid in defence but sometimes struggled at getting a consistent starting place with competition from the likes of Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi.

Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough)


Besic put his heart and soul into his Middlesbrough performances this season, trying to run the midfield on and off the ball, but rarely completed ninety minutes under Tony Pulis. He has two goals and five assists from 37 games, but it is unlikely Boro will sign him on a permanent deal with two years left on his Everton contract. Personally, I do like Besic, and if we are to lose Idrissa Gueye this summer and need a temporary replacement for his tenacity, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Bosnian tried out in pre-season at least.

I spoke at length with Dom Shaw from the Gazette on how Besic has got on this season, which is definitely worth checking out on the Toffee Blues YouTube channel.

Joe Williams and Callum Connolly (Bolton Wanderers)

MY VERDICT: 7/10 for Williams, 6/10 for Connolly

It’s been a difficult one for these two in a sticky situation at Bolton. Their attitudes have been exemplary, though, and it hasn’t fazed them. Williams has shown class and tenacity in midfield, proving he won’t shirk a tackle, but his passing accuracy has been found wanting at times – maybe this can be put down to decision-making and could be improved with another loan. Word is that Everton officials have been impressed by his performances though, with whispers indicating that he could find his way into Silva’s thinking next term.

Connolly has been played in both of the roles he was tried out at in Wigan, with no one quite sure which is his better position. His best performance arguably came alongside Williams in central midfield, though, and he is obviously a talented young player.

Kieran Dowell (Sheffield United)


Dowell has found the net twice in his 16 appearances with the Blades, landing himself quite a catchy song from the fans. His best games have been covering Mark Duffy in the No. 10 role, but he has been given a chance at left wing-back strangely when needed to cover and has done a good job there too.

I spoke to Ben Meakin from Blades Pod about Dowell, which is also on The Toffee Blues YouTube channel for you to go and have a watch.

Mason Holgate (West Bromwich Albion)


Holgate was used as a right-back at the beginning of his loan spell at the Hawthorns, eventually moving to right wing-back as West Brom adjusted their system. He hasn’t had a chance in his preferred centre-back role, but has been one of the first names on the teamsheet on the right. His attacking forays have wielded three assists as well as a goal in 20 matches, and he has consistently showed energy as well as defensive capability.

League One

Luke Garbutt (Oxford United)


Garbutt wasn’t getting much of a look in at left-back, so was moved into a left wing role by Karl Robinson. He has thrived in that position, and has provided eight assists as well as four goals across 33 matches this season. He still has a lovely delivery on him, and it’s been great to see him get back on his feet in that new position.

Anthony Evans (Blackpool)


It hasn’t really worked out for Evans at Blackpool after some bright form with Everton’s under-23’s. He never really found his feet despite being given chances by the manager in several midfield roles, and might be better off in a system which suits him more if he is to be loaned out again next season.

Evo-Stik Premier

Joe Hilton (Marine)


I joined Marine as Media Officer in January, just after Joe Hilton joined. For me, he was their best player and the manager attributed much of their good run of form early in 2019 to his saves. With a strong 6’6″ frame despite still being a teenager, he asserted his dominance throughout his loan spell and pulled off some fantastic stops. The highlight for me, though, has to be his rendition of Hello by Adele as an initiation song. Hopefully he’ll be able to sing his way into Silva’s thinking in the near future despite his contract being due to run out this year; but after strong showings out on loan, he is likely to be offered a new one.


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