JOSEPH YOBO finally completed a belated move to Fenerbahce last night, but only on loan once again.
The Blues could not reach agreement with the Turkish champions on a permanent deal for the defender, who turns 31 today, so a compromise solution of another season-long loan was reached. Yobo, who signed a five-year deal at Goodison in 2009, helped Fenerbahce to the Turkish title last season, scoring in the title decider.
He played – and scored – for Nigeria in their 2-0 win in Madagascar on Sunday and immediately flew back to England hoping to resolve his long-term future.
Instead an interim arrangement was secured which means Everton will not have to pay Yobo’s wages for the next 12-months, but will have the same problem to overcome again next summer when his transfer value is likely to have dropped.
Yobo’s departure means that Everton have named only 17 players in their Premier League squad for next season – eight short of the maximum quota permitted.
Players under the age of 21 do not have to be
named, however, so players like Ross Barkley, Jack Rodwell and Magaye Gueye are not listed.
Last September Everton named 21 players.
Current rules mean that each club must have a squad containing no more than 17 players who do not fulfil the home-grown player criteria, with the remainder – up to a total of 25 – having to be home-grown.
Everton (2011/12): Anichebe, Baines, Cahill, Hibbert, Jagielka, Neville, Osman, Bilyaletdinov, Coleman, Distin, Fellaini, Heitinga, Howard, Mucha, Saha, Drenthe, Stracqualursi.
Leighton Baines, meanwhile, is in danger of seeing his proud record of 73 successive Everton appearances interrupted by a hamstring injury sustained on international duty.
The full-back who played every minute of every match last season was sent home from the England training camp yesterday after sustaining an injury in training on Sunday.
Initial reports described the injury as a “tweak” but with the player travelling back to Merseyside yesterday there has been no official diagnosis from Everton yet.
Blues physios were also waiting to examine Victor Anichebe, who flew home from Madagascar with Yobo after sustaining a groin injury in the closing minutes of the international.
Nigerian medical staff estimated that the injury would sideline Anichebe for “two or three weeks.”
Everton’s game at Fulham next month, meanwhile, has been put back a day.
The game originally scheduled for Saturday 22 October, will now take place on Sunday 23 October (kick-off 1.30pm). The game has been switched because Fulham are in action in the Europa League on Thursday, October 20.
IN Saturday’s Echo we stated that Everton FC’s financial plight made the sale of Mikel Arteta necessary.
We understand from Everton this is not the case and Arteta was reluctantly allowed to leave because he expressly stated a desire to do so – not because of any financial pressure upon the club, which would have been happy and able to keep him.
We apologise for giving the wrong impression on the matter.