Three players who could leave Everton in January

Everton Goodison 2

We take a look at three players who could depart Everton in the January transfer window.

Everton's expectations going into this season were higher than ever, after Roberto Martinez led them to a brilliant fifth-place finish in his first year in charge.

The Spaniard had the side playing some of the most scintillating football in the entirety of England, with their all-out-attack style winning many admirers.

Martinez was also backed heavily in the summer transfer window - as he strengthened his squad with a number of new additions. 

So far the season for the Toffees has not gone according to plan, and they are in the bottom-half of the table, but it is a position that does not represent the quality they have in their squad.

The Toffees have a wealth of options and still appear to be progressing under Martinez's leadership, despite the early setback this season. 

The advancement the club have made has left some of their squad members behind though and, as well as looking for additions in the new-year, Martinez may have to think about departures, too. 

In this piece we take a look at three players who could leave Goodison Park in January. 

Steven Pienaar

The attacking midfielder has been a good servant to the football club, making a number of appearances over two spells on Merseyside, but his time appears to be coming towards an end now. 

Pienaar appeared to be in the starting line-up at Everton at the start of the season, but he has dropped out of contention more recently. 

The South African has made just two appearances since the start of November and only eight in total. 

It leaves the 32-year-old's future in doubt and, at this stage in his career, he may prefer to move away to get the first-team football which he will surely desire rather than risk fighting for a place. 

Darron Gibson

Gibson admitted that this season would be make or break for him at Everton, after suffering from injury problems throughout his career previously.

The Republic of Ireland international is a very talented player, but his failure to stay off the treatment table means that he is unreliable to build a side around. 

Gibson has seen the likes of James McCarthy, Muhamed Besic and Gareth Barry come in over the past two seasons and they have forced him down the pecking order at the club. 

The energetic central midfielder has played just seven times since the start of the campaign, with most of those appearances coming as a substitute, and it may be time for him to reluctantly leave the club in the new year.

Hallam Hope

Selling an academy product is never an easy thing for any club to do, but Everton's advancements in recent seasons may have left Hope behind. 

The attacker promised so much as a teenager, but he is currently playing in League Two on a loan spell with Bury. 

At 20, he is reaching an age where Martinez would have been hoping to utilise him in the first-team - as he has done with Ross Barkley and Tyias Browning - and Hope's future may be better served by finding a permanent club in the lower divisions, with his chances of breaking through at the Toffees looking limited. 

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