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Kevin Palmer: Seamus Coleman facing a sad end to his Everton story

Curtain call looms for a Toffees legend

Coleman deserves more than this end to his Everton career© Everton FC via Getty Images

Kevin Palmer

THIS is not how it was meant to end for Seamus Coleman at Everton.

The Republic of Ireland captain appears to have reached the end of his 13th season as a first-team regular at Everton – and, maybe, the conclusion of his enduring story at the club.

At the age of 34 and with his contract set to expire this summer, the knee injury sustained by Coleman in a relegation battle against Leicester earlier this month may have been his final curtain call for the club.

Coleman has undergone successful surgery on his knee injury, with Everton manager Sean Dyche was non-committal on the 34-year-old defender’s future at the club.

“Seamus did have an operation and it has gone well. All being well he should be fit for next season,” added Dyche.

“I will be speaking to him ongoing. He is well in the loop where he sits at this football club.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche has confirmed that Coleman is unlikely to play again this season – and by the time he is fit to resume his career, he may have joined the ranks of former Everton players.

Having played over 400 games and established himself as the longest-serving player, currently playing, at a Premier League club, Coleman’s exit from Everton could signal the end of an era at the club.

Defeat against a rampant Manchester City on Sunday pushed Everton close to the drop heading into their final two games of the season with their survival hopes at the bottom of the table dependent on their rivals, yet this is a familiar story for a club that has been teetering on the brink of a crisis for too long.

A year ago, they came closer than ever to losing their Premier League status, with a dramatic win against Crystal Palace in their penultimate game saving them from disaster.

It says much about the sliding standards at Everton that Coleman picked out that moment as the highlight of his Everton career in an exclusive Sunday World interview earlier this season.

Seamus Coleman says his wife and family have been crucial to his success

“The best moment for me at Everton would have to be the win against Crystal Palace at the end of last season that kept Everton in the Premier League,” he told us.

“The idea that we would be the first Everton team to get relegated since the 1950s was tough to think about – and it was hovering over us for months and months. The relief was just incredible at the end.”

At the age of 34 and after achieving more than the vast majority of Irishmen in the Premier League era, this green giant would have hoped for more than just memories of relegation battles to take away with him from the club.

He may yet be handed a new contract to extend his stay at Everton, but the delay in the club offering their captain a new deal suggests there are doubts over his future.

Coaching may well beckon for one of the most respected figures in the game, but Coleman is equally tempted to settle for a quiet life back home in Killybegs, County Donegal, with his wife Rachel and children Lily, Ellie and Blake.

“I will miss the game when it’s all over, because my love for football has never faded,” he added.

“I go in every day and I love it, I’m grateful that I am able to work in this profession and I love working hard in training every day.

“Will I go into management? I don’t know. I’ve worked under a lot of great managers, all very different in the way they do things and you learn something from each one.

“If I went into coaching, I’d take what I have seen from them with me and try to blend it all together for when you become a coach or a manager, but I might not go down that road.

“My life has always been family and football and when the second one of those goes, I don’t need the daily acknowledgment from people or the applause.

“I don’t need that in my life. I’m not going to miss the feeling of being a footballer. It won’t leave a void in my life. It doesn’t scare me at all.”

Coleman has every right to be proud of his wonderful career at the top of the game, but he won’t want his final chapter at Everton to involve a relegation footnote.

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