Everton coach David Unsworth has told the Liverpool Echo how Derby County linked defender Matthew Pennington will depart Goodison Park this summer.
According to a report in the Liverpool Echo back in May, Derby County are keen on Pennington.
The Rams need to bolster their defence before the start of the season following Fikayo Tomori’s exit.
Chelsea’s Tomori spent last season on loan with Derby. The pacey central defender was a huge hit at Pride Park, winning the club’s Player of the Year award.
Derby supporters want the England U21 international to return. However, a report in the Standard recently claimed the Blues want him to be tested at a higher level than the Championship.
Pennington would represent a decent alternative, and Unsworth admits he expects the player to leave Everton soon as he spoke to reporters following the Toffees’ 2-0 win over Chorley Town.
If you look at Morgan Feeney, Matthew Pennington, Muhamed Besic, probably Fraser Hornby and potentially Antony Evans, those five won’t be here.
Pennington has plenty of Championship experience following loan spells at Leeds United and Ipswich Town.
The 24-year-old made 30 starts for Ipswich last season. He averaged 1.7 tackles, 2.7 interceptions and 5.8 effective clearances per Championship game. Pennington may not have the speed of Tomori, but he is a talented defender both in and out of possession.
Derby boss Phillip Cocu has so far played midfielder George Evans as a central defender in pre-season. While that could be an impressive move this season, an injury to him would leave the Rams desperately short.