Joey Barton is not the most popular individual but as a footballer, he could offer a great deal to Everton next season.
Joey Barton is odds on to leave Queens Park Rangers when he goes back to the London based club after his loan spell at Marseille. That opens up his next move and Everton could be one of the clubs that take a gamble on him.
If Marouane Fellaini leaves Everton this summer, which he’s said he may do if Everton don’t finish in the top four, the club is going to need that aggressive and imposing presence in the middle of the pitch.
That is definitely something that Barton can offer them. Hopefully he’ll have matured just a little bit more and won’t try to go around kicking half of the opposition up in the air after getting himself sent off.
As a midfield player, he still has some basic attributes which would allow him to play to a very high level in the Premier League.
His public perception doesn’t matter, he’s a solid passer of the ball, he drives his teams forward and he creates chances as well as getting into the box to try and get on the end of them.
His form has also been quite consistent at Marseille which suggests he could be effective in any side straight away.
He’s started in every game he’s been selected for, 14 so far, and has produced three assists during his time at the French club and amazingly, he’s only been booked three times and sent off once.
Although he doesn’t seem the sort of person who would care too much, there has to be some sort of lingering issue at the back of his mind that he wants to prove people wrong in England.
He’s been written off by a lot of fans and there will be some Everton fans who will do just that but he’s 30-years-old and must have some sort of desire to prove that he can still play Premier League football.
He’s got two years left on his current deal with QPR but the club may be willing to offload him on a cheaper deal for the sake of doing just that.
Considering Everton don’t have tens of millions to spend on players this summer, that makes him a value option to them as well as what he offers as a player. It’s just a case of whether the club is willing to risk the fact he may have calmed down a little bit.
Everton fans, give him a chance of stay well clear?
image: © michael kjaer