By George Overhill

8th Jul, 2022 | 9:40am

Everton Women expert shocked by Poppy Pattinson exit, as Grace Clinton nears Manchester United move

We’re delighted to welcome Peter MacFarlane, member of the Everton Women Official Supporters Club, as our exclusive Everton Women expert.

Everton Women expert Peter MacFarlane has reacted to another pair of Toffees exits, one a major surprise and one not so much.

On top of the departures of club stalwarts Danielle Turner and Simone Magill the younger duo of Poppy Pattinson and Grace Clinton are also on the way out, with the former’s contract now expired and the latter in line for a transfer to Manchester United.

MacFarlane was particularly shocked to hear that left-back Pattison, 22, was going at the same time as former captain Turner just when it looked like her time had come, but amid a summer of major change he expected talented teenager Clinton, 19, to need a move in order to realise her potential.

Speaking exclusively to Goodison News he said: “It was disappointing to lose two young players in Poppy Pattinson and Grace Clinton.

“Poppy found it difficult to break into the team when she first arrived but last season she really kicked on and took her chance to nail down a starting position.

“With Dan [Turner] having already been announced as leaving we were all thinking that this would mean Poppy’s position would be assured, so her release took us all by surprise.

“Poppy has really bought into the club since she arrived, and regularly attended the men’s matches at Goodison Park last season, with her animated celebrations whenever we scored not going unnoticed.

“Another big personality who will be a loss for us, but a great signing for her next club. A great and bright future ahead of her. 

“Grace Clinton’s announcement came as less of a surprise as I feel that Grace needed to be playing more football.

“With the form of Hanna Bennison, and with us having an abundance of talent in her position, I think it was always going to be difficult for Grace to get that game time.

“She’s only 19 but has the world at her feet. I’m certainly excited to see her development as I believe she will go on to be a future star for England.”

BBC Sport’s Emma Sanders reported on Twitter on Thursday that midfielder Clinton’s move to Manchester is progressing, although the expected fee will be lower than one offered from the same destination in January.

Pattinson has not yet announced her next club, and it feels like a missed opportunity for the Toffees to not have extender her deal, especially in light of so many other big characters leaving.

It remains to be seen how the squad copes with the raft of exits under new manager Brian Sorensen, but it is certain that there will be a new look to the team in a number of ways when the new season gets under way.