Ross Barkley is set to leave Everton and the fact nobody cares shows things are changing at Goodison Park
In what’s been a busy summer for Everton in which they’ve shown the kind of ambition that many of their fans could have only dreamed about two years ago.
Big money has been spent, the squad has been improved in several areas and the hope is that a club that has long been happy to simply exist now intends to try and compete with the best.
The ruthless efficiency in which they have gone about their transfer business has been the best aspect of this newfound ambition
In the past, the Blues have been ponderous in their negotiations, dragging out transfer deals until the last minute as they sought to get the best deals possible.
Not this Everton. This Everton have got things done quickly, with little negotiation needed. The deals for Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen and even Wayne Rooney have been evidence of that.
The manner in which players have been shipped out has also been ruthlessly efficient. Ronald Koeman spent last season assessing his options and quickly getting rid of what he didn’t want.
Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo, Tom Cleverley, Aiden McGeady and Arouna Kone have all been moved on since January. Oumar Niasse and Joel Robles are likely to join them. So too, is Ross Barkley.
The Dutchman confirmed on Wednesday that the midfielder expressed a desire to leave at the end of last season, adding that he 100% expects him to be gone by the end of the transfer window.
It will be a sad end to what should have been a brighter career at Goodison Park for the boyhood blue. He will depart the club as an Everton never was having barely progressed since making his debut.
Yet the manner in which his potential departure is being handled is the clearest indication yet that the club will not be held back in its attempts to become one of England’s elite once more.
In the past, those inside and outside the club would have met the news that Ross Barkley was set to leave the club with dismay. Now, there is barely a murmuring of discontent.
Instead, he is being shown the door with the same ruthless efficiency that has been shown elsewhere. There has been no pandering, no desperate pleas, no attempt to change his mind.
A contract was offered was rejected by the player and that was the end of it. The sentimental Everton of old would have been weeping but not this ruthless machine.
And that is the kind of progress that many fans will be absolutely delighted to see. While spending money in the transfer window is a great thing for all, this kind of efficient, big club mentality is a far more welcome change in stance.
Big clubs do not pander to players. No player is ever bigger than the club; it’s a mantra the serious ones live by. Everton’s adoption of it over Ross Barkley is the clearest sign yet that they finally mean business.