Martinez hoping for Rodwell Everton homecoming in summer
Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell is being linked with a move back to his former club Everton (16/1 to finish in top four) in the summer, following his somewhat frustrating spell since joining the Etihad in 2012.
In two seasons at City (who are Premier league second-favourites at 7/4), the recently turned 23-year-old has managed to feature in just 21 games in all competitions due to being out on the sidelines for much of his stay.
There is no doubt that Rodwell has talent, as the £12m fee the Sky Blues paid for him at such a young age suggested, and his presence back at his former side would be a welcome addition to a side who are currently in seventh place in the league.
Despite his lack of game time, the former Everton graduate has managed three England caps – the first when coming on for fellow injury-prone young star Phil Jones – and Rodwell will be want to prove he can overcome his hamstring problems and fulfil his potential.
He will be hoping that his career will not be cut short as what happened in a similar case to former Everton youth and Man City player Michael Johnson – who has been without a club since 2012. The 26-year-old was touted by many to be the next big thing of English football.
Other former English stars who retired early in recent years due to recurring injuries include internationals Owen Hargreaves and Dean Ashton.
Everton were reportedly linked with a loan move for their former player on January’s transfer deadline day, but the deal was scuppered as City failed in their bid to sign FC Porto destroyer Fernando.
Premier League rules state that two players from the same club cannot be loaned out to another in the English top-flight and, with Gareth Barry already at Goodison Park until the end of season, the Toffees were willing to make the deal permanent then to allow Rodwell to join as well.
Roberto Martinez looks to have already made a pre-contract agreement with Barry, who can leave City in the summer for free, and already has James McCarthy on his books, but the re-capture of a fully fit Rodwell would put the club in good stead for next season.