Transfer Talk: Howe could get a Toon out of wantaway Gordon
Anthony Gordon’s days at managerless Everton look to be numbered.
Uncertainty surrounds Goodison Park after Frank Lampard's sacking with the 19th-placed Toffees deep in relegation trouble.
The boyhood Evertonian is being linked with a big-money move despite an underwhelming season so far.
With Newcastle reportedly set to beat Chelsea to his signature, we look at what is next for the 21-year-old forward.
Gordon’s pivotal role in helping Everton survive relegation despite being a relative newcomer was enough to attract interest from sides higher up the Premier League table last summer.
Namely free-spending Chelsea, who were strongly linked with a £60million move.
The switch failed to materialise, with Lampard seemingly playing a part in convincing the promising youngster to continue his development at Goodison Park for another season.
Amid the transfer speculation, he said in August: "He’s a huge player for us, it’s as simple as that.
"We are getting to the end of the window now but Anthony is a huge player for us and will be this season."
Dark times without Lamps
But now that Lampard is no longer in the Goodison Park hotseat, uncertainty over the Finch Farm graduate looks to be resurfacing once again.
The bond between the player and the manager was clear to see, with Gordon penning an emotional farewell to his former boss when the news was confirmed.
He wrote on Instagram: "To the gaffer and his staff, thank you for everything. I had a personal relationship with everyone of you and it was a pleasure to learn from you all.
"I appreciate all the time you put in to helping me grow as a player and a person. Good luck."
Even before the former Chelsea midfielder’s departure, questions had arisen over Gordon’s commitment to his boyhood club’s fight against relegation.
The winger has just three goals and no assists this season, with the last of those contributions coming in October in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace — incidentally the last time Everton tasted success in the league.
Despite his former boss often backing him to the hilt, Gordon was only handed one start in Lampard’s final seven games, suggesting even he was looking for more from his No10.
The Liverpool native was one of the players who felt the brunt of supporters’ anger earlier this month following a 2-1 defeat to relegation rivals Southampton, with furious fans filmed surrounding his car as he left Goodison Park.
Interest still there
But despite claims of an attitude problem, interest seems to remain high in the talented forward with Newcastle now the reported frontrunners.
Toffees chiefs appear willing to cash in on their academy graduate at this stage and are still said to be demanding upwards of £60m, though it remains to be seen whether the Toon are willing to part with that much.
A report in the Telegraph suggests there is a willingness on both sides to get the deal done, with Gordon also said to be keen on the switch to the third-placed outfit.
It would, of course, be foolish to count Chelsea out of the race but it looks as though the Geordies have stolen a march on their top-flight rivals as the January transfer window enters its final week.
The right fit?
High-flying Toon are enjoying an incredible season and have the financial muscle to match their lofty ambitions, though boss Eddie Howe has so far been selective over who he brings in.
With the interest appearing pretty concrete at this stage, the former Bournemouth manager clearly thinks the forward will not be a disruptive figure among his close-knit group in the North West.
And given the success of their high-energy approach, it is easy to see why the Magpies boss would see the versatile and pacey talent as a useful addition to his side.
When at his best, Gordon is a tireless attacker who loves taking players on and fashioning chances for both himself and team-mates when featuring either out wide or through the middle.
Since the start of last season, his 3.17 take-ons attempted per 90 mins is bettered by only dazzling winger Allan Saint-Maximin among Newcastle’s current crop.
What is more, only the Frenchman, Joelinton and Kieran Trippier can beat his 43 chances created in that time period, suggesting he could be a very handy addition to Howe’s options in attack.
Still, with a transfer fee as high as what is reported, Gordon will not be short of doubters to prove wrong if he does make the move — not least from supporters of his current club.