Everton's Brendan Galloway needs a fresh start this summer
Once viewed as the long-term successor to Leighton Baines, Brendan Galloway's future with Everton looks bleak and it's time for him to move on this summer.
The then 18-year-old was a highly touted prospect when he joined the Toffees from Milton Keynes Dons in the summer of 2014, with many seeing him as the ideal future replacement for Baines - who was turning 30 just a few months later.
Just one year into his deal, it looked like Galloway's time had come - with Baines suffering an injury that would keep him out for a lengthy period of the 2015/16 Premier League season.
The then 19-year-old performed exceptionally on the left side of defence under Roberto Martinez, averaging 3.3 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 1.3 dribbles per game in the England international's absence.
His performances for the Toffees earned him his first few caps for England Under-21s, with his future as a Premier League defender looking to be secured.
Galloway made 15 appearances for Everton before Baines finally returned from his injury, immediately taking back his starting role in the side.
Since then, Galloway has had two largely disappointing loan spells with West Bromwich Albion (16/17 Premier League) and Sunderland (17/18 Championship) and has never had a real chance in the Everton first team since.
This most recent season saw him play his football for Everton's youth setup, making one appearance in the Checkatrade Trophy against Bradford.
The 23-year-old's fall from grace has been swift and brutal to watch, considering he showed so much promise just four seasons earlier.
Galloway, who received an extension on his original five-year deal after his impressive performances in 2015, now has a decision to make this summer.
With one year left on his deal with the Toffees, but no opportunities in the first team in sight, especially with the signing of Lucas Digne last summer, Galloway may have to request a transfer from the Premier League club.
The England youth international has made just 10 appearances for a professional club since the 2015/16 season, with the majority of his playing time coming at youth/development level.
His progress has stalled greatly and the best way for him to get his career back on track is a permanent move away from Goodison Park to get first-team football under his belt.
Clubs in the bottom half of the Championship could be the ideal landing spot for the talented left back, getting more opportunities at a good, competitive level while still being young enough to push his way back.
A move abroad could also be on the cards, taking Galloway away from the pressures of English football and giving him an opportunity to learn a new style and experience something different in an attempt to rediscover the performances from four years earlier.
No matter where Galloway ends up, a move away from Everton is a must if he hopes to progress his career as a professional and all options should be considered if he is serious about making a real go at being a Premier League player in the future.Modified 20 Dec 2019, 23:20 IST