Roberto Martinez joked yesterday that the speculation his club turned down a £50 million bid from Manchester United for youngster Ross Barkley was a good thing, as it showed Everton were developing and progressing players the right way.
The most recent speculation linking an Everton player with a move away from Goodison Park is centred around defender John Stones, the subject of reported interest from both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Stones is one of the best young defensive prospects in England and a player who could form the basis of the Everton defence for several years so if Barkley is worth more than £50 million in the eyes of the club, how much could they demand for the teenage defender?
The original deal he signed when he joined from Championship club Barnsley runs until 2018 so any club looking to come in and take him away from Everton won’t find any deal cheap.
He is still a raw player and his position means that the Toffees wouldn’t be able to command a fee anything close to the £50 million mentioned for Barkley.
Attacking players tend to generate higher transfer fees because they are directly responsible for goalscoring, creating and taking chances which impact on points and they’re arguably more marketable.
A good parallel to judge what sort of price he could command can be drawn with Southampton left-back Luke Shaw.
Shaw is widely reported as having a £30 million transfer fee from Southampton despite still only being a teenager.
The length of Stones’ contract, his age and his potential demonstrated by his performances already this season certainly suggests that a fee in the region of £20-30 million wouldn’t be unreasonable.
However, Martinez knows what a talent he is and what he’s capable of becoming and if Everton finish with Champions League football next season, why would he want to go anywhere else?