Wednesday 21 February 2018

Coleman to stick with Toffees for now – Dunne

Everton's Seamus Coleman will be handed a new contract by the Toffees amid speculation of interest from Manchester United
Everton's Seamus Coleman will be handed a new contract by the Toffees amid speculation of interest from Manchester United
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

RICHARD Dunne believes that Seamus Coleman has no real reason to think about a move away from Everton, but reckons he could face a dilemma if they miss out on the Champions League.

The Toffees will be looking for an eighth successive win when they host Crystal Palace at Goodison Park tonight, knowing that full points from their remaining games will secure them a top-four spot.

Coleman has been a key part of their success this term and Manchester United and Arsenal are amongst his admirers.

Dunne thinks that his Irish colleague would probably be better served staying put for now, yet anticipates further speculation come the summer.

"He has been brilliant all season," says Dunne, who started his career with Everton. "You can see the confidence he had in the game against Arsenal, volleying the ball up the wing with his skill.

"He's been great and if he can get into the Champions League it will improve him again. The only worry that Everton will have is that the bigger teams will try to take him."

When asked directly if he would stay with the Toffees if he was in Coleman's position, Dunne said: "If they get into the Champions League, then I don't see why not. It's a great club although it does not have the financial backing of Manchester City or even Manchester United.

"But he's playing every week, is first choice and his form is brilliant so there is no real reason for him to go looking for stuff elsewhere."

The emergence of Coleman and James McCarthy as key members of an impressive Everton unit has increased optimism about the future prospects for Ireland and Dunne shares in the enthusiasm.

"The two of them have been brilliant for their club and I think the Ireland team will feel the benefit," continued Dunne.

"And if Everton get into the Champions League, then that will help them as well.

"I think the team will evolve and Martin (O'Neill) will bring a lot of new players in and it will progress. It's a good group that we have and there's a good chance of getting into the top two in the (Euro 2016) group.

"Obviously, Scotland are improving so it will be difficult but it gives us a really good chance of qualifying."

Dunne, currently immersed in a promotion battle with QPR, said last week that he would be available for selection come September but confessed that his plan to miss this summer's friendlies could see him fall down the pecking order.

Meanwhile, Roberto Martinez has delivered another positive bulletin regarding Darron Gibson, repeating his belief he can return before the end of this season.

"Darron is great, I think his knee is stronger than before the injury which is always a good sign," he said. "It's more about the chain of muscles around the knee and making sure he can cope with football movements. We expect him to join the group next week which is a phenomenal achievement."

Irish Independent

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