On-loan Everton defender Matthew Pennington is reportedly set to push for an exit from Hull City in January after a frustrating few months at the Championship club.
The 25-year-old joined the Tigers on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day, joining fellow Everton loanee Josh Bowler who had made the switch earlier in the summer.
Bowler has featured 12 times for Hull and appears to have forced his way into the starting XI in recent weeks.
Would it be a blow to lose Pennington in January?
However, it has been a different story for Pennington, who has made just three appearances and featured for just 17 league minutes in total.
The Englishman’s only starts have come in the Carabao Cup, a competition that Hull were knocked out of in the second round.
According to Football Insider, the defender is extremely frustrated at his lack of first-team opportunities and is intent on returning to Everton in January.
It is thought to be becoming increasingly likely that the Premier League side will look to send him on loan to another club in the second half of the season.
A versatile defender that is comfortable at both centre-back and right-back, Pennington developed through the Toffees academy system but has struggled to force his way into the senior side–making just nine appearances for club and not appearing since 2017.
The majority of the 25-year-old’s first-team career has been spent away from the North West club, having spent time on loan at Ipswich Town, Leeds United, Coventry City, Tranmere Rovers, and Walsall.
Hull have found a rich vein of recent form–winning three games on the bounce in the Championship and moving to within three points of the top six.
You can completely understand Pennington’s frustration, he moved to Hull to increase his chances of first-team football and at this point that has been very limited.
The defender doesn’t appear to be in Grant McCann’s plans at the moment, so I’m not sure losing him in January would be a huge blow.
The only issue could be a long-term issue to Eric Lichaj, with Pennington one of the few players in the squad that can provide cover at right-back.
Everton face something of a conundrum over Pennington if these reports about his unrest are to be believed. The defender doesn’t seem to be in Marco Silva’s plans, so is it best for them to recall him and then move him on elsewhere in January or to leave him at Hull and hope he gets more opportunities?