With the American not getting any younger could Everton start looking for younger goalkeepers to eventually step in at the club; including players linked with Liverpool, Spurs, West Brom, Rangers and Manchester United?
This weekend saw Tim Howard unfortunately miss the fixture with Reading after the American stopper suffered a back injury against Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup during the week leading up to the game. David Moyes decided against any form of sentimentality when he did not risk the 33-year-old; despite him being just two games short of Neville Southall’s record 212 consecutive league appearances for The Toffees.
Jan Mucha came in and had much to do about nothing but a question on many an Evertonian’s lips this season has been in relation to Howard. He has been an undoubtedly superb custodian in between the sticks at Merseyside but is not getting any younger and Mucha is an able support act but at 30-years-old himself is not exactly ‘one for the future’.
An attempt to sign Jack Butland is now dead in the water after he agreed a move to Stoke City in January but the fact Everton were in the market for the young Englishman suggests Moyes is ready to prepare for life post-Howard.
So which young goalkeepers should come under consideration?
Jason Steele - Middlesbrough
Everton could keep it English and go for the 22-year-old England under-21 understudy to Jack Butland from Teesside.
He has previously been linked with cross-city rivals Liverpool and is rated at £2 million by the club.
If Boro fail to make it into the Premier League this season he may consider a move away from The Riverside.
Maksym Koval - Dynamo Kiev
He made his professional debut for Metalurh Zaporizhya aged just 16 and kept a clean-sheet on debut. Since then he has made the move to Dynamo Kiev and shifted the legendary Oleksandr Shovkovskiy from the starting position.
At just 20-years-old it may prove too early for a switch across Europe and even if so there is likely to be interest from teams who can offer him more illustrious football.
Matthew Ryan - Central Coast Mariners
In terms of waiting in the wings for Tim Howard bringing in the Australian youngster would not be the worst idea for Everton.
Just 20-years-old he is considered the natural successor to Mark Schwarzer at international level and has already had trials at Tottenham, West Brom and Rangers but work permit issues are currently preventing a move.
Ron-Robert Zieler - Hannover 96
The former Manchester United drop-out is now a fully-fledged German international and he could surely be tempted back to the North-West in order to play in the Premier League.
However he would only do so as first-choice which may not be an option in the immediate future.
Sean Johnson - Chicago Fire
The American international could be the natural successor to Tim Howard at both international and domestic level.
The stopper has already had a trial at Everton and Manchester United so there could be potential in this deal.
Do you think Everton need to bring in a young goalkeeper?
image: © NathanF