Joel Robles to depart Everton as contract expires

Everton have announced their list of released players following the end of 2017-18 season, which confirms that goalkeeper Joel Robles will leave the club on a free after a five-year spell. 

Robles is the only first-team player to be released and heads up a short list that only contains seven players.

Jose Baxter, who rejoined the club last summer, will depart for a second spell at Oldham Athletic after his contract with the Blues comes to an end.

Youth prospect Conor Grant also heads for the exit door and will help finally bolster Plymouth Argyle’s midfield after a loan move to the Pilgrims fell through in January.

Under-23s players Sam Byrne, Calum Dyson, Louis Gray and David Henen are all to be released too.

Henen has been linked with a move away from Everton for some time and is expected to head to either France or his native Belgium.

Youth scholars Stephen Duke-McKenna, Charlie Ball, Nathan Baxter, Jordan Corke, Matthew Johnson, Sidney Kerr, Nathan Moore and Tom Scully have not been offered contract extension and will also depart.

Duke-McKenna was included in the young Everton squad that beat Apollon Limassol in the final Europa League group stage game but was not called upon from the bench.

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Unlucky Joel headed home

Robles’ departure - whether via release or transfer - has been expected for some time.

The Spaniard, who joined the club under Roberto Martinez, has struggled to break through as a first-choice goalkeeper, only taking the gloves in cup ties or when needed through injury.

When he was handed a chance thanks to a Tim Howard injury during the 2015/16 campaign, he impressed and managed to keep eight clean sheets in 25 games. He conceded a total of 32 goals.

The arrival of Ronald Koeman could have been a launching point for Robles but the Dutchman brought in compatriot Maarten Stekelenburg and he was installed as the Blues’ new number one shot-stopper.

Again, injury to Everton’s number one gave Robles a chance and again he took it. He kept 10 clean sheets in 20 Premier League games.

Robles was relegated to third choice upon the arrival of Jordan Pickford but another injury to Stekelenburg meant that he would back up the young English ‘keeper.

He made two Europa League appearances last season - keeping one clean sheet in the win over Limassol.

Robles is expected to head back to his hometown and join Getafe.