The Liverpool Echo had reported this week that the 19-year-old could leave the Blues on a permanent basis rather than just on loan and that has been confirmed with his switch to the League One club where he has signed a three-year contract.
At one stage predicted to be a future Everton captain, Ledson came through Everton's Finch Farm Academy and has played regularly at all levels up to the Under-23s.
He captained England U17s to European Championship glory two seasons ago and has played as high as U19 level for his country.
Ledson posted a goodbye message on social media today after the deal taking him south was confirmed:
Would like to thank and wish Everton all the best. Had an unbelievable 14 years at the club and had some great memories there.
Thanks to all the staff that have worked with me over the years and I wish you and all the boys the best of luck.
Reader Comments (80)
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1 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:22:08
2 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:23:47
3 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:34:00
4 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:34:47
5 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:40:41
6 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:44:47
7 Posted 25/08/2016 at 15:54:47
8 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:05:08
9 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:10:55
But one comes through every five years or so.
10 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:16:01
11 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:18:21
12 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:18:56
Not saying he will turn out to be a Pogba but better safe than sorry.
13 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:19:30
He looked a neat and tidy player. Good touch. Two feet. Good range of passing. Great shot. I thought he was going to go to the very top, but I did fear for him after seeing Davies jump ahead of him and not being given a squad number. Davies is a younger guy at 18, and I think ledson is 20 soon.
He seems a sensible fella and hopefully he can knuckle down and work his way up the leagues.
It's hard to excel as a central playmaker at a young age and even the great zidane only really made it at 27 years of age. So he has plenty of time.
All the best.
14 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:39:50
You know that if a kid is English and doesn't trip over his own two feet while walking out onto the pitch, then he is the next sure-fire can't-miss future captain of Everton and England!
Seriously though, Ledson looked good when given the opportunity but not great. Hopefully, he will do very well and have a long career. Best of luck to him.
15 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:40:00
16 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:42:53
17 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:45:13
18 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:53:12
Pity, but it's best for the young fella that he gets the opportunity to play football.
19 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:53:31
20 Posted 25/08/2016 at 16:54:34
21 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:06:55
22 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:12:29
His progress had stalled and maybe didn't tick vints boxes. Pity as we all had high hopes for him but as was said above, in football, if there's someone younger and better in your position then it's time to pack your bags. Has happened to better players than young Ryan (arteta was scrap heaped at barce for iniesta/Xavi).
This means RK/DU rate young Davies highly.
23 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:15:31
Perhaps in the end he just wasn't that great a footballer but I declare solemnly he has more natural aggression, cool and determination that the entire shower who played for us last season.
We'll hear of this kid again some day.
24 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:17:09
25 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:28:56
26 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:29:28
For some reason he was then out the national set up and didn't seem be taken up further. Don't get it.
Agree this has Mr Vint all over it..
I hope he runs our noses in it.. Surprised a bigger club didnt go in for him. I'm sure he will progress if he puts his mind to it.
27 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:41:29
But gd luck to him. Hope he makes it
28 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:50:47
Keep the faith.
29 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:52:04
30 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:53:54
31 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:56:30
32 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:56:33
33 Posted 25/08/2016 at 17:57:35
34 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:02:44
To go to a team in the bottom rung of the League, doesn't at first glance, look a very good move for him, but maybe he has got a very good financial deal which makes a move very rewarding for him and maybe his wages at Everton didn't compare to what he is getting at Oxford. I still think we will hear a lot about this lad in the future, good luck Ryan with your future career.
35 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:03:16
Thanks chaps. Sorry to see him go but with Davies, Dowell,Williams and Walsh there are a lot of youngsters competing for a CM berth and we must trust RK, Unsy and Joe to get it right.
36 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:04:00
37 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:09:29
Surely he could have done better than Oxford...
38 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:12:43
39 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:13:18
It was part of Joe Royle's role to monitor the progress of the players out on loan and make recommendations on the way forward. As with the overwhelming majority of Academy players Ledson had some promise but even as an England under 17 captain there was always a question mark about whether he had any special qualities to suggest he would be able to progress to Premier League level within the foreseeable future. With Barry, Gana, McCarthy, Cleverley, Davies and probably Walsh in front of him the harsh reality is he had no obvious pathway into the first team squad this season or next. It would seem therefore in the player's best interests for him to go to a club at League One level where he can continue his development .
Realistically we cannot keep every promising player in the development squad until they reach 21/22 just in case they might eventually reach the standard required. It would not be in their best long term interests or the club's. Choices have to be made and while there will always be a risk we lose an exceptional late developer that applies to every club. In that regard some mention Adam Forshaw who has done well to work his way back up to top level. To be brutally frank though he is hardly in the Pogba class and I doubt very much if he would merit a place in our team at present.
40 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:23:35
The bigger picture is ignored and local talent disappears. Everton like most prem teams produce great talent that hits a glass ceiling when it comes to the 1st team. Look at Chelsea, youth cup winners 4 out of 5 years and 1 player loftus cheek is anywhere near the 1st team. In my opinion its time to introduce quotas for home grown players. I am fed up of ordinary players taking the place of local talent. I could get a dozen strikers from the lower leagues who are better than Niasse or centre backs who are better than Alcaraz every prem team is the same.
41 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:47:30
Often happens that kids rated highly at 16-20 get overtaken by their peers. Anyone remember Peter Clarke?
42 Posted 25/08/2016 at 18:52:04
43 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:05:15
Wish the lad all the best and hope one day he proves us wrong and we have to pay £100 million to get him back.
44 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:07:51
Good luck Ryan.
45 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:08:59
Maybe not having the money to splurge on transfer fees like English clubs do they have to put more into youth development to be sold on for ridiculous fees to English clubs with more money than sense.
But in any case it is almost impossible for young players to make it into PL first teams. All PL sides are off the shelf and as long as they have the money that will remain so.
46 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:10:12
47 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:15:03
Maybe we can bring back "England v Rest of the World" games like we used to do back in the fantasy 50's when Johnny Foreigner knew his place.
48 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:15:16
Like most of the contributors on this site, I don't know the reasons behind the club's decision to let Ledson go but it is hard to accept that he doesn't have more to offer than the Injury prone Gibson and Besic or even Cleverley. If it is down to attitude rather than playing ability, as some have implied, then that reflects badly on the club.
49 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:18:41
50 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:28:55
This is also a wake-up call to other promising youngsters at the club, that they have to work exceptionally hard, go on loan when required, and improve their first team chances. Nothing is guaranteed despite potential until it is reached.
51 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:30:31
Baines, Jags and Barton were also there before getting cut and ending up elsewhere.
What I've been impressed with in recent years is that most of the lads have impeccable technique and can use both feet.
Coaching seems top class. Even more so when you consider these are all local lads not the best lads stolen from other academies. The only thing missing is the English problem of hunger, desire and application. Which is probably because they all think they've made it at 16 and it's just a matter of time until they fulfill their potential, instead of realizing that this is in fact the hardest part to make that final jump up.
52 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:31:38
I half expect to read in a year or so that Tom Davies, Joe Williams etc have signed for some lower league club. Barkley apart, how many boys have made it in the last few years?
53 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:42:34
The fact is managers sign 3/4 year contracts. They are under pressure to produce results almost straight away, especially those in the PL, so they don't have the time or motivation to play young players.
Look at Holgate. If Coleman was fit would he be playing? I doubt it very much. And the fact is that it is only injuries to senior players and lack of experienced cover that allows young players the chance to play. Then it's sink or swim time.
54 Posted 25/08/2016 at 19:43:17
Gary, no I don't agree – because that's not my summary of a young man's career, just one aspect of it which I read about but can't remember where. TW is full of "idle gossip" – it's what we do ffs! I was not speculating but remembering something I'd read and was hoping somebody else could remember something about this.
55 Posted 25/08/2016 at 20:18:43
56 Posted 25/08/2016 at 20:27:19
No probs, mate, you're right – gossip is allowed, I agree, and this is a forum. I just wanted to point out that, having followed young Ledson's progress, I'd never heard anyone doubting his attitude, that's all.
I think the top and bottom is, it's very hard to become a Premier League midfielder and just maybe we haven't seen the last of this lad. I wish him luck.
57 Posted 25/08/2016 at 20:28:05
With the money that's at stake I believe we will see less and less academy players coming through now. Clubs won't take the chance, every manager knows they they are only 6 games from the sack. Mourinho gets slated for not bringing in young players but he is only at a club for 3 or 4 years. In that time he wants to win the league, champions league and cups. He won't take the chance on a Rashford when you can get a Zlatan.
58 Posted 25/08/2016 at 21:00:44
59 Posted 25/08/2016 at 21:03:09
60 Posted 25/08/2016 at 21:14:48
How much value do you assign to a young player that the club are prepared to let go, and Oxford are the buying club?
61 Posted 25/08/2016 at 21:18:29
62 Posted 25/08/2016 at 21:23:48
They'll all get it wrong sometimes (and ther will be whoppers: Pogba) but its rare and most would trade Ferguson's whoppers for his successes.
Personally I think Davies and Walsh will be the ones to come out of these apprentices.
63 Posted 25/08/2016 at 22:02:44
64 Posted 25/08/2016 at 22:09:49
The odds are against Ledson making it big. Even Rodwell had plenty of Premier League experience to his name at a similar age. But there's time if he is good enough he'll make it back.
65 Posted 26/08/2016 at 00:34:56
I assume that Ledson was not sold because Koeman doesn't think he's ready for the first team yet but because the club have decided that we have better long-term options elsewhere. Having spent 14 years at the club I doubt a pre-season with Koeman is likely to change that. They could have loaned him out again as is all the rage but didn't, which surely indicates a fair amount.
Ledson has gone exactly the way of John Lundstram. Neat and tidy player, but sadly not thought to be Premier League class. We have a lot of talented footballers in the academy, with some of the English contingent receiving call-ups to recently announced squads; Anthony Evans and Nathan Holland join Tom Davies in the Under 19s, Dowell joins Connolly and Kenny (and Ledson) in the Under 20s, Galloway and Holgate in the Under 21s, and Morgan Feeney in the Under 18s.
Not all of these are going to become regular members of the first-team squad. Add to those the injured Williams, Liam Walsh and any number of popular others. Most of those named above will be playing their football elsewhere within five years - that's what history tells us. Fergie's Fledglings were the exception that proves the rule.
66 Posted 26/08/2016 at 00:39:46
Placing players in this route would help the players realise how lucky they are to be playing for relatively high salaries in England. It also offers them a chance to improve with more contact with Continental coaches and different football skills and tactics. From a club point we might increase the transfer fees or include 'sell on clauses' or 'buy back clauses' for these players. We might even get back players who have improved like Pogba or Mustafi
67 Posted 26/08/2016 at 00:57:09
68 Posted 26/08/2016 at 02:49:42
It's always been the case that very few "star" youngsters make it to the first team (or at least since the 1970s to my direct knowledge). It's becoming even rarer now because Premier League clubs are so rich compared to the rest of the world so we can attract the best in the world. Obviously when competing against the best youngsters in the world (or a fair proportion of them) only a very few local lads (or English lads) will make it. Its plain mathematics.
Good to see that we have this fellow Vint behind the seasons helping make the right decisions. Maybe Ryan Ledson was an early developer which is why he made the national age grade teams... but peaked at a level below Premier League standard.
69 Posted 26/08/2016 at 02:59:41
71 Posted 26/08/2016 at 10:32:06
72 Posted 26/08/2016 at 10:33:57
73 Posted 26/08/2016 at 11:21:36
Shall we ever know?
74 Posted 26/08/2016 at 11:33:46
In any event I am a big believer in unpicking "experts" thinking process to work out what actually works well in predicting future performance. There are too many possible biases for existing coaches that have coached the kid since he was small.
You only have to look at the train-wreck of England in the Euro's to get sceptical about "experts" with all the coaching and playing experience that you could possibly ever need. They still make very poor decisions.
75 Posted 26/08/2016 at 11:46:07
He frankly acknowledges he has very limited knowledge of football, but he is here to complement not compete with the club's coaches.
Even though his job title is head of the academy, I doubt very much that he has total executive powers on who is retained and who is released. I am sure diverse opinion on many criteria is sought from various staff members - including the 1st team manager and director of football - before any absolute decision is made on a player.
Wint's remit is a simple, but potentially, very powerful one: make Everton's academy the best in the world.
I for one support his appointment and the club's initiative and ambition on this.
76 Posted 26/08/2016 at 15:59:30
Hopefully he'll develop up through the leagues and maybe one day he'll be back at the first club that helped develop him.
It's happened before and it may happen again.
All the best for the future is all we can say.
77 Posted 26/08/2016 at 16:17:41
Let him go learn the ropes of first team footy - and see what he can do.
He now has to earn his way back, instead of going on loan and having guaranteed safety of returning.
78 Posted 26/08/2016 at 19:00:18
79 Posted 27/08/2016 at 04:49:50
However, what he says in the article is what you would expect from a "new broom". He implies that he has a system, not necessarily a scientific formula, that marks criteria at various stages for Identifying those most likely to succeed. There are no individual cases specified which is only to be expected and that any future decisions will be after consultation with those with playing and coaching experience and may be about targeting coaching requirements as well as predicting futures. There is also mention of outside distractions, booze and substances they should be avoiding and good luck to him on that with Merseyside teenagers but all part of overseeing young sportsmen.
I wonder over what period does he mean 42 youngsters have had first team experience?
I'm still mystified, however, on the Ledson case and I doubt we will hear any more on this for at least 15 years unless Ledson becomes the next Rooney or has something uncomplimentary to say on the matter that needs refuting. And as he has captained his national team at various levels and is considered good enough for the latest squad bit not Everton U21/23s.
Perhaps there's a part of me wants to see Dr Vint asked what is your greatest failure and what your greatest success and then to hear the one answer, "Having a drink and a few tokes with Michael Phelps."
All in it appears another piece in the largest shareholders restructuring of Everton FC; Board rep, Manager, Head of Recruitment, Academy Head, Ticketing and probably at the end of this season, shirt sponsorship.
80 Posted 27/08/2016 at 05:07:38
81 Posted 27/08/2016 at 17:52:13
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