US national team goalkeeper Tim Howard has lost his starting spot with Everton.
Manager Roberto Martinez told reporters in a Friday press conference that he's ready to give 25-year-old Joel Robles the nod over Howard heading into this weekend’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Bournemouth.
The catalyst appears to be a combination of both shaky performances from 36-year-old Howard as well as Robles stepping up in this season’s cups for Everton.
"That's when you are in a strong position, when you've got football making the decisions,” Martinez said, assessing his goalkeepers’ performances. “It's important that you give continuity and at the moment, Joel is doing really well.”
“But Tim Howard has been injured and he hasn't been able to fight for his place back,” he added. “We'll benefit from the competition for places and that's the way I want to see it.”
Howard’s time with Everton may be limited anyway. It was reported last month that the Colorado Rapids have had their sights set on the US international, and then word came out that the interest is mutual, with Howard eyeing a move back to MLS.
Howard started his career in MLS with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1998, before signing with Manchester United midseason in 2003. He has played for Everton since the 2006-07 season, accumulating more than 400 appearances for the Toffees.