If recent reports in the media are to be believed, Everton were close to bringing Jack Rodwell back to Goodison Park on deadline day, with the deal only being thwarted by Manchester City’s own failure in the transfer market. Although Roberto Martinez made it clear throughout January that he wanted to bring in a central midfielder in as cover, it was certainly a surprise to see the name of Rodwell being mentioned as the one who fitted the bill.
Rodwell’s struggle for fitness since his move to the Etihad has been well documented and any move would be viewed as a massive gamble considering the injury history of the player. Of course this is all just conjecture, as it is possible that these tales are no more than paper nonsense, but the subject of Rodwell playing for Everton is certainly worth revisiting.
If one thing is for sure, it is that Jack Rodwell is a player who divides opinion amongst Everton fans.
Yet looking back, it all started so well for Rodwell on Merseyside and fans that followed the Everton youth set up closely whispered avidly of his potential for a number of years. Eventually the talk of another star in the making spread to the terraces and the expectations for Rodwell were big.
The early promise shown by Rodwell proved the fans hopes to be justified and at just 16 years he was already writing himself into the Everton history books, with his debut against AZ Alkmaar making him the youngest ever play to feature for the blues in Europe. Touted as a future England centre back, he spent most of his Everton career in the centre of midfield, quickly winning over the fans with important goals against Aston Villa in the FA Cup run of 2009 and also in the rare victory over Manchester United in 2010.
Hopes were becoming particularly high for Rodwell, as he had displayed a number of endearing qualities in the centre of the pitch and the potential was there for the team to be built around him. However, amidst all the promise, doubts began to emerge about Rodwell’s long term fitness.
Despite it being only the beginning of his career, injuries were already racking up for Rodwell and this is what really polarized opinion amongst the Everton fans. Despite flashes of brilliance, the appearances were becoming limited for the promising midfielder and comparisons to the likes of Jermaine Jenas, who similarly started brightly and faded due to injury, began to seem worryingly accurate.
Fears that Rodwell would never fulfil his potential began to grow, so when Manchester City came in somewhat surprisingly with a 12 million bid in August 2012, Everton snapped their hands off. Although the player did not leave acrimoniously and there was no bad will towards him, there was little protest at the decision to sell him either. If anything, Everton fans were mostly positive about the move, particularly as the money was reinvested for once to sign the likes of Kevin Mirallas and Bryan Oviedo.
Upon reflection it is sad to see that Rodwell’s career has stalled, but with his injury problems still getting the better of him, would a move to Everton benefit the side in any way?
It would not seem worth it when reading of the worrying lengths Rodwell has gone to in his battle to overcome hamstring issues, which have included getting a new car amongst other things;
“I had a low sports car,” Rodwell said. “That wasn’t necessarily the reason [for the injury], but it was a factor. I also changed my pillows and moved a bit closer to Manchester as well because I didn’t want to be sat in the same position [driving] for an hour a day”.
Another thing to take into account is the situation of Darron Gibson, who is clearly a very talented player, but one who also struggles with injury, so would it be good business to potentially have to centre midfielders out at the same time?
It is understandable that many fans rule out the notion of signing him without much thought, but let us remember, Roberto Martinez is no fool. What makes the concept of this transfer more interesting is the fact that Martinez is a qualified physio. Martinez would be more aware than anyone of the risk of bringing in Rodwell, so it can be encouraging reading to see that he thinks it would be worthwhile for Everton to make such a signing. One problem for Rodwell may be the mental aspect of overcoming injuries, and with Martinez’s motivational skills so evident, you cannot help but wonder if a move back to Everton could resurrect Rodwell’s career.
Any move would certainly be viewed as controversial either way, as there is too much division amongst fans for there to be an overwhelming element of support, but in all honesty it is impossible to know whether Rodwell will even be a target come the summer time.
What do fellow Evertonians feel about a potential move for Rodwell?
Good business or bad?
Please leave your thoughts below