Everton have fallen on tough times on and off the pitch this season.

Sean Dyche’s side sit 16th, just four points above the relegation zone.

The largest of the problems came in November when the Blues were ruled to have broken profit and sustainability protocols. The Premier League deducted 10 points despite the club’s protests furthered by the supporters.

The deduction was reduced to six points on February 26.

An appeal board reduced the 10-point penalty because the commission made legal errors when imposing the original sanction

So, among the mess come the usual dilemmas football clubs face between January and May – contracts.

Players are free to sign pre-contractual agreements when they have six months or less left on their current agreement.

January 1st is deemed a key date as this comes six months before the usual expiration date of June 30 on many footballer’s agreements.

Individuals looking to move from an English club to another can do so one month before their contract expires.

This is due to potential ‘conflicts of interest’ if a pre-contracted player happens to face his new club in the later months of the season.

Transfers in England are regulated by the FA (Football Association).

Everton players out of the contract:

Jack Harrison – The winger joined the Blues from his parent club Leeds United last summer and has split opinions so far with his time on Merseyside, albeit playing out of position in his last few matches in place of the injured Abdoulaye Doucoure. Harrison started well, scoring from 30 yards against Bournemouth in a 3-0 win, but has not performed consistently enough to be certain of a permanent deal being penned. However, returning seven-goal involvements in 25 games may tempt Kevin Thelwell.

Our Verdict: Keep at the right price

Arnaut Danjuma – The Nigerian-born Dutch international joined the Toffees from Tottenham Hotspur last summer after initially being linked with the Blues during Frank Lampard’s tenure but deciding against signing due to “the uncertainty over the manager”. So far, Danjuma has not covered himself in glory despite early signs of promise coming in the League Cup netting against Doncaster Rovers and scoring against Sheffield United in a 2-2 draw in September. Since then, the winger has not fitted into Sean Dyche’s side with minutes coming sporadically or when the manager is forced to field him due to injuries of others. Two goals and zero assists in 20 appearances leave supporters wanting more.

Our Verdict: Release

Andre Gomes – The 30-year-old Portuguese excited many when he arrived on loan from Barcelona in August 2018. He impressed enough to secure a permanent deal the following year signing for a reported fee of around £15 million. Gomes has never adapted to the pace of English football despite glimpses of class at times. His injury record certainly has not helped his cause despite a semi-successful loan spell at LOSC Lille, where he featured 27 times, Gomes finds himself on the treatment table again after three appearances this term.

Our Verdict: Release

Dele – The 27-year-old joined Everton in January 2022 after falling out of favour at Spurs. The transfer excited fans as Dele had played for England 37 times between 2015 and 2019. Dele had declined from the player who scored nine and assisted 11 in the 2017/18 campaign but Toffees’ fans hoped the move would breathe life back into a faltering career.  th featured just 13 times before being loaned to Turkish outfit Besiktas appearing 15 times before suffering an injury and then returning to Goodison Park. Dele has not featured since amid well-documented personal problems culminating in an interview on ‘The Overlap’ voicing his struggles with mental health. The club revealed Dele had surgery on an ongoing groin injury in January.

Our Verdict: Release

Idrissa Gana Gueye – The Senegal international returned to the Toffees after a successful three years at Paris Saint-Germain, winning two Ligue 1 titles, two Coupe de France as well as narrowly missing out on UEFA Champions League success, finishing as a runner-up in 2020. Since returning to Merseyside, Gueye has resumed his tenacious efforts of breaking up the player and allowing others to flourish while he does the hard yards. However, at 34, Gueye may not have too long left in his legs at the top level. The midfielder’s contract is due to expire this summer but has an option of a year extension if needed.

Our Verdict: Keep

Seamus Coleman – The Ireland international has been a mainstay in the Everton side for many years, but his body has begun to let him down in recent years. Supporters marked his 300th appearance sporting a banner covering the Gwladys Street (pictured) before January’s 0-0 draw. Sean Dyche has used Nathan Patterson, Ben Godfrey and Ashley Young at right-back this campaign as Coleman has struggled with fitness. However, most Everton fans would be in favour of keeping the 35-year-old at the club for a little longer.

A flag commemorating Seamus Coleman.
A flag commemorating Seamus Coleman.

Our Verdict: Keep

Ashley Young – The 38-year-old has enjoyed an eventful career, which has taken him from Watford to Birmingham to Manchester with a trip to Milan before returning to Birmingham now to Goodison Park. Young has featured in 75% of the games he has been eligible to start in this term. Despite a poor performance at Anfield, where he was sent off, Young has cut a professional, consistent performer during his time in L4. His versatility has proven useful amid an injury crisis, with the former England international playing as a right winger at times.

Our Verdict: Keep

Andy Lonergan – The 40-year-old veteran goalkeeper has not featured in a competitive game during his time on Merseyside. He has been part of both Liverpool and Everton’s squad during his career. Lonergan is an experienced head and could prove useful around the dressing room during a turbulent time. Joao Virginia and Billy Crellin are the Blues’ second and third-choice goalkeepers; both can lean on Lonergan for advice.

Our Verdict: Keep

(Main image by Alamy Images under agreed licence)