Everton quintet not given squad numbers for new season
Published 03/08/2016 | 09:51
Everton manager Ronald Koeman appears to have signalled his intentions regarding his squad after five players were not given a shirt number for the forthcoming season.
Strikers Oumar Niasse, Conor McAleny and Leandro Rodriguez, winger Aiden McGeady and defender Luke Garbutt were all left out of the initial allocation confirmed by the club.
Niasse, Everton's third most expensive signing for £13.5million, only arrived in January from Lokomotiv Moscow but managed just 152 minutes of competitive football.
The Senegal international played only one half of a behind-closed-doors match during the club's Austrian training camp but has not featured in any of Everton's four friendlies.
Republic of Ireland international McGeady played small parts in the Toffees' first two domestic pre-season games but did not travel to Germany for two matches in Dresden and his number seven shirt has been taken by Gerard Deulofeu.
England midfielder Ross Barkley has swapped his number 20 shirt for the number eight of Bryan Oviedo, while new signing Idrissa Gueye has been given 17 after fellow midfielder Mo Besic opted to change to number 21.
Academy graduates Tom Davies and Kieran Dowell, who featured briefly at the end of last season, have been promoted to numbers 26 and 28 respectively.
Davies, who joined the club at the age of 11, signed a new five-year contract on Wednesday.
"It's great motivation knowing I'll be here for five years and that I can really push on and hopefully develop to become a really good player for the team and go on to do really well," the 18-year-old midfielder, who made his first-team debut in April as a late substitute against a Southampton side then managed by Koeman, told evertontv.
"I just want to become a regular first, that's something I am going to work towards and hopefully with the help of the staff and learning from other players I can get there."