EVENTS in Germany last weekend were bad news for Everton.
Chelsea’s European Cup triumph meant Tottenham Hotspur were demoted to the Europa League, and with that many of their leading players could now jump ship.
It’s unlikely they’ll sign Emmanuel Adebayor permanently after a loan spell, and both Luka Modric and Gareth Bale are likely to move to Champions League clubs.
And all of that bumps up the value of Steven Pienaar, either with Tottenham wanting to raise funds to atone for the lack of Champions League money, or needing the South African due to other players having departed.
In many ways, Pienaar’s performances this year at Goodison haven’t helped Everton’s cause, because they have underlined what a fine player he is.
If Pienaar had hardly played at Goodison during his loan spell, they could have pinched him for a pittance.
Instead, Tottenham are probably looking for about £6m with little chance they’ll allow Pienaar out on a season-long loan.
Everton may well have to sell before they buy this summer, but at least with the impact of Nikica Jelavic they won’t be searching for a striker, often the most difficult part of the team to get right.
Jelavic’s arrival may mean there is scope for letting one or two attacking fringe players go.
However, David Moyes may again be forced to cash in one of his big names.
And if he does, then Jack Rodwell may be the one sacrificed. He hasn’t played much over the last two seasons and hasn’t kicked-on as expected.
Everton may hope someone might trade on his potential, and losing Rodwell wouldn’t be a massive, damaging blow, especially if they structure any deal so that if he does make it to the top then they will stay quids in.
There aren’t many other players Moyes would want to sell. You would be reluctant to let Marouane Fellaini go, and there are few better left-backs than Leighton Baines.
Selling Rodwell to sign Pienaar would represent a good deal. Rodwell has potential but no end product at the moment. Pienaar, though, has been so influential that it makes sense to go for the tried and tested.