A bit more news came out from training this morning as Kurt Larson shared this on twitter:
Nelsen tells me Earnshaw has been extended to end of year. Loan was scheduled to be up on July 1. #TFC— Kurtis Larson (@KurtLarSUN) June 13, 2013
It seems that Robert Earnshaw has done enough so far this season to merit the club keeping him around until at least the end of the year. The extension comes as no real surprise as Toronto FC have lacked any sort of consistent scoring option so far this season with Earnshaw being the best of the bunch thanks to his hot start to the season.
Even with Danny Koevermans making his way back from injury the club has been in need of help in the attack. By keeping Earnshaw around he will hopefully be able to partner with Koevermans on a regular basis which would then allow Justin Braun to be used primarily as an option coming off the bench and more importantly would allow Luis Silva to drop back into the midfield where he is more comfortable.
Just last week Duncan presented both sides of the debate for whether or not it made sense for the TFC to keep Earnshaw around. At that time it seemed that most fans, myself included, felt he would be worth extending to the end of the season to give the club time to find long term improvements. It would not make sense to ship him out just to bring in another short-term option so by keeping him around the club now has the needed time to go out and find some attacking players that they can rely on going forward.
Earnshaw is just one in a number of loans that came to Toronto early in the season but he is the first player who has done enough to earn the chance to stick around past that July 1st deadline. Hogan Ephraim and John Bostock have both been sent back to England already having failed to make a real impression while Steven Caldwell's future with the club remains up in the air as his loan was also on a short-term basis.
Toronto will almost certainly be very busy during the summer transfer window and if the rumours are any indication they could again be changing over a large portion of the squad. With all that kind of turnover it makes sense to keep some kind of stable core around to allow the club to at least remain somewhat respectable while it is once again rebuilt.
If Earnshaw can get hot again or strike up a strong partnership with Koevermans it would certainly help to turn the season around. That might be asking too much at this stage but at least by hanging on to a solid option it gives Kevin Payne and Ryan Nelsen one less pressing need to address this summer.
With the extension likely running only until the end of 2013 Toronto will have the option to part ways with Earnshaw this coming offseason and if they do go that direction hopefully they will use the next few months to ensure that a suitable replacement is in place.