Sport Soccer

Thursday 23 November 2017

Number up for McGeady in Koeman's Everton overhaul

McGeady's number seven shirt has been taken by Gerard Deulofeu. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
McGeady's number seven shirt has been taken by Gerard Deulofeu. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Aiden McGeady's Everton career looks to be at an end after he was not issued with a squad number for the season by new manager Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman appears to have signalled his intentions regarding his squad after five players were not given a shirt number for the forthcoming season.

McGeady, who was among five, 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.

Everton, meanwhile, have made an ambitious approach to sign Wolfsburg's Germany international Julian Draxler. The 22-year-old declared yesterday morning that he wants to leave Wolfsburg, putting Europe's top clubs on alert, but it is Koeman's newly-rich side who have made the first move.

Having only signed Maarten Stekelenburg and Idrissa Gueye since Farhad Moshiri's takeover in February, Everton are expected to spend money this summer, and are in negotiations with Swansea City for Ashley Williams. But they have made a surprise move for Draxler, opening talks with Wolfsburg about the purchase of the young forward.

Meanwhile, former Everton boss Roberto Martinez has been appointed as Belgium's new manager.

Martinez's appointment was announced on the official Twitter account of the Belgian Football Association last night.

The 43-year-old Spaniard has been out of work since he was sacked by Everton in May after three years at Goodison Park.

Newcastle continued their overhaul ahead of the Championship season with the double signing of Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark and Hull's Mohamed Diame. Ireland international Clark joined for an undisclosed fee while Newcastle used a release clause in Diame's contract to sign him from Hull.

Clark and Diame are the seventh and eighth players to join Rafa Benitez's squad ahead of their season opener away to Fulham tomorrow.

The versatile Clark, 26, can play at centre-back, left-back or in a holding midfield role, and has put pen to paper on a five-year contract.

Villa manager Roberto Di Matteo will be disappointed to lose Clark to another club who were also relegated from the Premier League last season, having recently expressed his desire to keep him, but Benitez was happy to snap him up.

"Ciaran is a very versatile player, as a left-footed centre-back he can also play left-back and also as a defensive midfielder," the Spaniard said. "He has a lot of experience of English football and will add good balance and competition to our squad."

Clark came through the ranks at Villa before making his debut for the club in August 2009, while still a teenager. He soon became a regular in the side and over the following six seasons went on to make more than 150 appearances, scoring 10 goals.

Irish Independent

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