On loan Leeds United centre-back Matthew Pennington has committed his long-term future to his parent club, Everton. This could come as a body blow for the Leeds manager Paul Heckingbottom as he might have been thinking of having him on another loan spell or getting him signed up on a permanent basis. However, it seems that he has impressed the Everton coaches with his loan spell and recently signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2021.
Pennington’s time at Elland Road was plagued with injuries as he suffered an ankle injury which kept him out for some time. However, he managed 24 appearances for them in the Championship and did a decent job in his centre-back role. The defender was even used as a right back by Paul Heckingbottom in some of the matches.
After signing the new deal the young defender said,” “I am delighted with my new contract, this is the Club I have been at since I was a little boy and I am excited to extend my stay here and remain in the royal blue of Everton. ”
“It’s great to see some of the young lads like Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny getting opportunities. These are players who I have come through the ranks with and to see them playing in the first team is great and gives me inspiration.”
With him set to stay at Everton we look at three possible replacements Paul Heckingbottom can go after to bolster his defensive options.
The defender was an instrumental part of Millwall’s push for the playoff’s spot having being promoted in the 2016-17 season to the Championship. The Lions missed out on the sixth spot by just 3 points and finished 8th in the end. However, a lot of their players were impressive and none more than Cooper. He will certainly bolster his manager’s defensive options at Elland Road if he decides to make a move for them.
Peterborough United’s defensive ace had a good season in the League one this season. He appeared 43 times in all competitions and also managed to score three times for them. He is traditionally a centre-back but can be used in various different roles as he can play as a right back and a defensive midfielder as well. The versatile defender will certainly bring a lot to the table for his manager.
The young Ipswich Town defender has done decently for his team and could be a good bet for Heckingbottom to replace Pennington. The defender is adept at playing anywhere across the four but is traditionally a centreback. He made 29 appearances for his team this term and showed a lot of promise.