Ledson is upwardly mobile with Preston move

Thursday, 17 May, 2018 25comments  |  Jump to most recent
Former Everton Academy player Ryan Ledson has made a quick move up football's ladder with the announcement that he will join Championship side Preston North End.

The midfielder, who captained England to U17 European Championship glory as a teenager left Everton last year to join Oxford United in a permanent deal and won the League Two club's Player of the Season award this season.

He has been snapped up, however, for an undisclosed fee by Preston who missed out on the play-offs by one place this season as they chased promotion to the Premier League.  

Reader Comments (25)

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Jack Convery
1 Posted 17/05/2018 at 17:49:48
Good news – it's all good news these days!
Steve Ferns
2 Posted 17/05/2018 at 18:12:22
I always thought he looked a player. He was clearly ushered out of the way of Tom Davies. This will be a good thing only if Tom really kicks on.

I think Ledson might be the player we are missing but perhaps Walsh more so. He was the best passer of the three.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 17/05/2018 at 18:17:21
Steve, love little Walshy. Sorry he wasn't given a go in the first team.
John Dean
4 Posted 17/05/2018 at 19:40:24
A whole-hearted player who would not hold a place down in a Premier League side. Walsh and Williams both have the edge over him.
Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 17/05/2018 at 19:55:35
The more you play the better you become, so maybe Ledson, might end up the best player out of the three of them John?

I was impressed by Ledson, being brave enough to leave because he wanted to play proper competitive football and better himself, so for that reason, I hope he makes it right to the top?

Walsh, has just done the same thing, so good luck to him as well, and it will also be interesting to see what happens to Joe Williams next year.

I really don't understand why the top English clubs don't have "B Teams" like in some other countries, because when you consider what Everton must spend on their academy each season then it would probably be enough to keep Tranmere and the likes, running for three years?

David Chait
6 Posted 17/05/2018 at 20:19:37
I'm happy to see him climbing quickly. I will follow him closely next season! I would hope someone with his youth and pedigree can make it to the top... but it's so tough!
John Dean
7 Posted 17/05/2018 at 21:12:26
You may well be right, Tony; I'm wrong more often than I'm right.

When he broke into the U23s, he made a quick impact but, in the season before he left, he didn't seem to have added anything more to his game. In particular, I didn't think he could play the ball forward as well as the other two. But Preston for sure don't agree with me.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 17/05/2018 at 21:25:39
Interesting what you say about not adding anything else to his game John. Sometimes a young player will change, especially if he's maybe being coached to do things that don't always suit.

I think it's been happening to Tom Davies, this season, and he's one who maybe needs a few weeks away from the game to take stock, and realise why he was doing so well, until Koeman, possibly started to change him?

I heard Ledson, was a very good passer of the ball, so maybe the game was getting to easy, or the Martinez, obsession with possession, was maybe taking over his game?

John Smith
9 Posted 18/05/2018 at 00:37:47
The big teams don't let these youngsters go, even if they're just Championship level players. They build them up, play them every now and then in the first team, cajole some moron in the press that they're the next big thing and, just as the media reaches fever pitch, they sell them at a premium.

Compare that to what we do.

Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 18/05/2018 at 00:43:53
Maybe you're onto something, Tony. Tom's a real mystery to me. His game got a lot crustier this year – too many nasty challenges, 7 yellows plus maybe 3-4 more than he got away with. And at the same time his first touch completely went to shit, causing giveaways.

Seemed to me he was just rushing everything, none of the calm confidence we saw last year. Could be growing pains, or sophomore slump, or maybe Koeman did rattle his confidence.

Needs some quiet words from our next manager.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 18/05/2018 at 04:45:44
I have no objection to people holding an opinion on a player but to say that a better player was sold in order to protect an inferior player is just absolute nonsense.
Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 18/05/2018 at 08:04:32
Who's saying that Alan J?

I think you have used the best description when you say that Davies's game has been rushed, Mike, because that's what it looks like at times. I remember watching Erwin Koeman warming him up at home to Split, and although I sit on the back row of the Upper Gwladys, it was obvious by the hand movements of the coach that he wanted Tom to just pass, pass and pass.

I'm not sure that this is the kid's game, and although he's struggled at times this season, I expect him to come through because this kid never hides and just keeps going, which shows immense bravery imo.

Peter Gorman
13 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:22:06
Well done, Ledson.
Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 18/05/2018 at 11:27:19
Tony (#12); How would you read Steve Ferns at #2?
Peter Gorman
15 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:47:20
I don't know about Tony but I just read it as Steve's personal opinion.
Steve Ferns
16 Posted 18/05/2018 at 13:54:10
Yep, my own opinion. I would say that Tony and Dave Abrahams know more about the academy than me. I bow to them on such matters.

My opinion is that Tom Davies was considered a better prospect than Ledson and Ledson was sold to remove him from being a block to Davies’ natural progression into the first team.

I still think Davies is the better prospect. It was surprising at the time as Ledson was highly thought of.

Steve Ferns
17 Posted 18/05/2018 at 14:00:40
Tony, would you not agree that when Davies and Walsh played together, Davies was the tackler and the chaser (gueye) and Walsh was the playmaker / passer?

Passing has never really been a big part of Davies’ game. Winning the ball back and laying it off and getting forward where his strengths. I see him as a Gueye type only with much superior ball skills.

Phil Smith
18 Posted 18/05/2018 at 16:00:34
Davies also needs to work on his first touch and heading in a big way!
Tony Abrahams
19 Posted 18/05/2018 at 17:21:23
Dave raves about Liam Walsh, Steve. I was just asking Alan J, because I wasn't aware of anyone saying that the lesser player had stayed at Everton.

I read it as you saying that Ledson was allowed to leave so as not to stop Davies's progress... which, if correct, must have been an opinion that was shared by everyone at Finch Farm.

I hope that Ledson goes right to the top because his actions showed me that he wasn't scared of dropping down into the Football League to prove himself, which is the kind of attitude that I hope is rewarded in the long term.

Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 18/05/2018 at 17:24:04
Steve, I see Tom Davies becoming a fetch-and-carry type of midfielder, which is why I thought he was having a problem when he was getting told to play two-touch.
Dave Williams
21 Posted 18/05/2018 at 18:37:45
Bearing in mind how many youngsters fail to make it I think we should have tried harder to keep Ryan and especially Liam.Has Liam broken into Bristols first team yet?
Hopefully Brands will help Tom, Kieron and Joe plus others to become first team regulars and provide some of the desire missing last season.
Kieran Kinsella
22 Posted 18/05/2018 at 18:56:42
Davies suffered in my opinion because of coaching. I think it is easier for a kid to get in as a workhorse than a ball player. First season, Davies had good movement, ran with the ball and was dangerous around the goal. This year he was a water carrier. In the same vein When Beningame played under Unsie there were polarising opinions. Some said he was great others that he was crap but they both cited the same reason; his passing. The critics said he gave the ball away too much. The others praised him for his attempts to pass and play through balls. They didnt pan out but sińce then he seems to have been rebranded by Sam as another headless chicken dog of war type. Now RM went overboard indulging Ross with his creative efforts. But I feel RK and Sam went too far the other way with stifling creativity in favor of grit.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 18/05/2018 at 21:16:24
I thought it was great that Everton had four good young midfielders at the same time in Ledson, Williams, Walsh and Davies with Tom being the youngest of the four, which is why I never saw him as much as the others until he started playing for the first team.

Ledson was very highly rated and although offered a new contract and a better deal he preferred to move and play first team football at a lower league and maybe because he was getting more money at Oxford. Liam Walsh also preferred that route and moved to Bridtol City for a reported £1,5 M, he hasn't played regularly there but I don't know if he has been injured. Joe Williams was an all action midfielde, tenacious and a good ball winner, Joe had a bad injury which kept him out for a very long spell and it took him months to get back into the game and he appeared to have lost some pace, although he had a very good season last year at Barnsley who offered Everton decent money to make his move permenant, this never materialised. Tom Davies had a hard season just gone but I think we all have to remember that Tom is still a very young and he is capable of improvement as long as he is looked after properly.

It's great to see young players come in and show what they can do, Jonjo Kenny after just one season in a struggling side got as much stick as praise on here although he played his heart out every time he put on a Blue Shirt, I think there is plenty to come from Jonjo and he will be challenging Seamus for that shirt very soon, in the meantime he will prove to be an able deputy.

I hope the new man from Holland takes note of the many young players coming through the ranks and makes ample use of his talent in the next few years.

Chris Davies
24 Posted 19/05/2018 at 04:22:08
One of my family grew up in the academy with “Lego”, my old man (who was a great footballer), said to me for years, “watch out for this one”.

My hunch is that it's only ever attitude, dedication and the ability to behave like a grown man after that.

Harry Ferns
26 Posted 20/05/2018 at 14:15:22
As a boyhood Everton fan, but centred in Oxfordshire and therefore a supporter of Oxford too as my local club, I feel gutted that he is going but pleased for the player. However, out of pride for the club, I'd like to point out that Oxford is in League One!

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