Everton have confirmed the signing of Matthew Pennington to a contract extension, stretching till the very end of the 2020/21 season. The 23-year-old has certainly proved his worth during his season-long loan spell with Leeds United and is set to replicate his form in the Premier League next campaign.
Sam Allardyce and his side could do with a young defensive head to get the club back to winning standards. The Toffees have really struggled of late, to establish themselves as one of the domineering sides in the English top-flight. Instead of fighting for one of the European qualification spots, their greatest achievement this season has been a top-half finish.
It was almost shocking to see the side in the relegation scraps earlier in the campaign, especially since their transfer column got filled with numerous expenses. If it was not for Sam Allardyce and his survival strategies, we might have seen the team suffer an even sadder affair.
‘Big Sam’ has worked his magic again to dig the team out of the bottom three and place them in a place of strength. It is unfortunate to see the former-England manager’s impact get halted to just that.
The fans would not be blaming Farhad Moshiri and the rest of the club owners if they decided to part ways with the 63-year-old. And tying down the services of a young centre-forward like Pennington certainly places the club in a stronger position ahead of the 2018/19 season.
Leeds, however, could take this as a body blow as they also had a forgettable season. The Peacocks started off strongly in the Championship but gradually started to stutter as a series of defeats saw them slipping down the table and finally ending their miserable run on the 13th spot.
The primary casualty for their dismal run was, as usual, the then manager Thomas Christensen. Paul Heckingbottom, who came into his place, was, however, not able to resurrect the form of the Elland Road club as the slump continued.
One of the major problems for Leeds United has been their defence and that has led them to allow a number of unfortunate goals which could have been evaded. The presence of Pennington, who made 24 appearances for them, in their squad could have been a big boost for Heckingbottom but now it seems that he will have to look somewhere to find an able partner for Pontus Janssen to pair with, in the next season.