Whilst there is no doubting the committed service Tim Howard has provided to Everton over almost a decade keeping net, there is sure to be more than the odd sigh of relief at Goodison Park surrounding the latest news.
Rumours fresh off the press indicate Roberto Martinez will rubber stamp an £8m bid to rescue Asmir Begovic from his current anonymity at Chelsea come the summer, as he looks to replace Howard who could well be MLS bound.
Begovic’s decision to join Chelsea last August always looked like a short-term fix for the Bosnian, whose position as Blues number one was only ever assured until Thibaut Courtois recovered from his lengthy injury.
Given veteran keeper Howard’s stock has arguably never been lower among the Goodison Park faithful, this would appear to be some timely news for Martinez as well.
The manager has been criticised for failing to recognise his number one as a weak link in a wobbly defence that has leaked 35 Premier League goals in 2015/16, seriously harming Everton’s European ambitions in the process.
While Howard, who made the permanent switch to Everton from Manchester United in 2007, was viewed as a smart signing during his first few seasons on Merseyside, the weight of opinion has shifted pretty violently over recent campaigns.
Now 36, the American has consistently been the source of fan anger on forums and on social media regarding his performances and particularly the perception his ability to command his 18-yard box has seriously diminished.
A low point came over Christmas when Howard was heckled by some of his own fans over the Christmas period in home games against Stoke and Tottenham.
According to the stats bods at Squawka.com some of the fan anger over Howard is justifiable too.
Measured across a broad range of performance data, of all other keepers to have played over 2000 Premier League minutes this season barring Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet have outperformed Everton’s first choice, who ranks lowest in defensive capabilities.
With number two Joel Robles starting all of the Toffees last five games in all competitions; it would appear a mooted move to the Colorado Rapids is fast approaching for Howard.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.