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Blues swoop for Dutch teenager

| Wednesday, 19 July 2017  48 Comments  [Jump to last]
Updated Everton appear to have beaten the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal to the signature of highly-rated Feyenoord striker Joshua Zirkzee.

The 16-year-old was reportedly in talks with the Blues about finalising a move to the Finch Farm Academy, with Ronald Koeman's influence proving crucial in his decision.

Described as a "goal machine", Zirkzee looked bound for Arsenal only 24 hours ago after they had surpassed Ajax in the race to sign him.

Reader Comments (48)

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Len Hawkins
1 Posted 19/07/2017 at 20:21:37
Goal Machine Dixzee Zirkzee!
Mike Berry
2 Posted 19/07/2017 at 20:27:39
If true we could really have a fantastic array of talent in the coming years, as I believe 100% that our scouting network is now second to none.
Derek Knox
3 Posted 19/07/2017 at 20:30:26
Build a house, and they will come!

We are certainly doing really well, with the younger players, even beating so called bigger sides to their signings, there must be a feeling amongst these youngsters, that they would stand a better chance of making it, with us, which, I have to say, is encouraging.

John Graham
4 Posted 19/07/2017 at 20:36:35
What – another one!!!!
Clive Rogers
5 Posted 19/07/2017 at 20:52:32
Hope this is true, he sounds like a diamond.
Joe O'Brien
6 Posted 19/07/2017 at 21:00:05
Spot on, Mike... our scouting team are top class... getting the top young talent in England and now looking like doing the same in Europe.

Some not make it but now we've beating Arsenal twice with Zirkzee (hopefully) and Onyekuru joining us. That's massive that we're more of a attractive option than Arsenal.

It's in the papers that we're getting in Gibson from the Barcodes supposedly – another top young player. Having this crop of players coming through in the next few years is very exciting.

Neil Thomas
7 Posted 19/07/2017 at 21:04:16
The reason we are beating so-called bigger teams to these young players is simply cause they know they will get a chance of breaking into the first team.

Look at Chelsea, for example: just sold a cracking young midfielder for £5m to Watford and paid £40m to Monaco for a player that's the same age and same standard.

Chris Williams
8 Posted 19/07/2017 at 21:08:33
Lewis Gibson next!
Joe O'Brien
9 Posted 19/07/2017 at 21:11:22
Either way, Neil isn't it good to see? 2 years ago, this wouldn't be happening. These talented players coming in, coupled with our own young blues, already points to a very bright future.
Chris Gould
10 Posted 19/07/2017 at 21:14:03
Neil, I think it's also because our U23s management team have really got their shit together.
Charlie Lloyd
11 Posted 19/07/2017 at 21:32:38
This policy of snapping up young talent that's still emerging could save us millions.

Let's be honest here. Our turnover and commercial streams are presently well below others in the Premier League. Moshiri will only dig so deep he's a business man first. We catch them young and school them, give them opportunities and a team that conquers could be built by scouting foresight and not just buying immediate success that's got to be satisfying. Not all will make it but we have a decent record of developing players.

I personally know nothing about Zirkzee. I know little of Onyekuru or Mathis either. Imagine though if, in 5 years, these lads are mainstays of the first team.

Walsh is putting his reputation on the line here but that's what he gets paid for.

Geoff Lambert
12 Posted 19/07/2017 at 22:04:38
" reportedly in talks with..."

Well then, it's a done deal!!!!!!!!

I would love to see this kid in a blue shirt, he averages more than a goal a game.

Drew O'Neall
13 Posted 19/07/2017 at 22:11:01
I'm not sure anyone can state with any confidence what 'it is because of' but what it does indicate to me is that the club has a long-term strategy.

It is investing in long-term options, outside of what the current manager wants, in the same way a club like Southampton does, in order we have continuity and don't capitulate when a manager inevitably leaves from time to time, as we would have done in the David Moyes era where the incumbent coach was responsible for the club from top to bottom.

Congratulations Everton.

Tom Bowers
14 Posted 19/07/2017 at 22:59:13
If everything that is happening right now leads to great fruition over the next few seasons, we have a lot to lick our lips about. However, as we all know, everything depends on how the right team selection and the consistent performances on the pitch are what really matter.

Koeman will have the players he wants and it is down to him to get the best out of them. Last season was his ''apprenticeship'' so to speak so this next season there cannot be any excuses.

The top five or six teams are also bringing in new players and will be just as tough to beat as always, if not a few other teams, but I feel that the Blues will now be in a better position than they have been for many years to make the step up.

Jason Broome
15 Posted 19/07/2017 at 23:39:17
33 Goals in 27 games for the youth team... Can't wait to see him play. Get him in, Everton, please.
Jack Convery
16 Posted 20/07/2017 at 00:21:44
This is going Dutch the EFC way!
Karl Masters
17 Posted 20/07/2017 at 02:10:52
Great if true, but I'm never very excited by these 'whizz kids' anymore as so many have come and gone making little or no impact for the first team.

David Henen, Brendan Galloway are a couple of recent examples and there are lots more in the past.

Scoring loads of goals at youth level is a long way from doing it in the Premier League. Players seem to stop developing in many cases. Lack of first-team chances and off-the-field distractions for young players would seem to be possible causes for that. Feeling they have already made it when in fact the hard work is only just beginning could be another.

Of course, I hope the young signings do well, and by that I mean become established first-team players, but I'm not expecting much. Guess we will see how it pans out.

Alan J Thompson
18 Posted 20/07/2017 at 05:04:07
Did we ever get back the young kid who was loaned to, I think, St Patricks (?) either during or at the start of last season? I think it must always be difficult even if initially exciting for kids this age to leave home and for another country.
Mark Andersson
19 Posted 20/07/2017 at 06:06:33
Nice one, Karl, bringing us all back down to earth. Who knows what the future has install for the blue dreamers. I for one don't get excited about anything Everton anymore – not since they sold Alan Ball – haha...
David Milner
20 Posted 20/07/2017 at 06:13:11
Alan @18

Do you mean Steven Kinsella, on loan at St Patricks for the end of 2016 & then loaned to Dundalk for the first 6 months of 2017?

Not sure whether he is still under contract or not. Not among the recently released so Dundalk may have ended up being permanent.

Liam Reilly
21 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:05:22
The club is showing great vision in getting these kids in now as there's no doubt that we can't continue to overhaul the playing side year on year by going to market; the management need to find another way.

Walsh and Koeman certainly appear to be doing just that.

David Ellis
22 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:16:19

We only need a couple of them to come good – there's a real chance of that with the current group of U23 players and this buying of 17-year-olds is just re-loading the gun so we have a chance of having some more come through in the next 3 years (as I understand our current U18 crop is not as good as the current U21/U23 crop).

But you're right – nothing to get excited about this particular young man just yet. However, as a group, I think we can be excited about them.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 20/07/2017 at 09:11:38
The collection of youth talent is great. But we must be committed to keeping a pathway to the first team clear. That means at least two graduating to the first team each season – not just the squad but getting games.
James Flynn
24 Posted 20/07/2017 at 11:23:32
I don't remember Kinsella, but looked him up. He's loaned to Dundalk until 31 December 2017. His contract with Everton runs thru 30 June 2018.

He'll turn 19 this August. Does anyone in here know if he's any good? Reading, it appears there was some competition for his signature a few years back. Yet, he hasn't been selected for our U23 or U18 squads.

Who knows? I'll go ahead and guess we'll never see him.

James Flynn
25 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:04:14
I don't know how reliable the Daily Star is. But, according to this morning's, Joshua is in Liverpool since yesterday.

Also interesting is the article stating the kid's out of contract at Feyenoord. If that's true, then it's just between him and Everton on money.

Anyone here ever seen him play?

Jason Barker
26 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:17:55

According to this, he's already signed and has played!?!?

Rob Esteva
27 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:23:10
Kinsella is out injured unfortunately which is a blow. That said, given he hardly played for St Pats so going to the Champions was never going to see him get much game time.

He really needs to be playing somewhere to kick on.

James Morgan
28 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:36:41
Jason, it's on the Echo site as well. Playing for our Under-19's. Keep bringing them in! Is it me or does our scouting network seem more extensive these days with the acquisitions from around Europe? Markelo, Mathis, Donkor and this kid... I suppose we have to have a big net now to try and build for the future rather than just UK based prospects.
Kieran Kinsella
29 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:48:53
Earlier there was a post on Twitter with an old Everton academy team line up from the Moyes era. Including subs, the only name I even recognized was Nathan Craig who played once for us.

In recent years we've really turned it around. Even aside from the players in and around the first team squad, we've had numerous players go off to have solid careers at professional clubs. It's very encouraging and looks like we want to raise the bar further.

Chris Gould
30 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:16:01
Jason, James,

The game in full is on YouTube. A very boring 0-0 draw. However, Zirkee stood out. He is tall and pacey with a great touch and lovely skill.

Considering he wouldn't have known his teammates, he did very well. Have a look at his piece of skill in the 39th minute. Lovely flick and turn of pace.

Paul Thompson
31 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:17:18
He just played for our Under 19s in a tournament in Prague. You can see the whole thing here (YouTube via the peoples' Forum).

It was 0-0 and dull as dishwater (I skipped through it), so unless you have a very high boredom threshold, don't bother. For a quick glimpse, try 34 minutes when Joshua Zirkzee makes then misses a decent chance. He's a big lad for just turned 16!

Steven Telford
32 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:20:24
If our youth recruitment policy is as good as some of us seem to think, it sort of justifies buying players the age of Rooney and Giroud, as that makes for quality in transition. Ideally we'd like to be at a stage where summer tweaking becomes a requirement rather than summer spending revolutions.

Barkley should lift his head up and take a look around at the project he is walking away from, and see why his departure can't be compared to Rooney's.

Teddy Bertin
33 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:36:39
Paul Kossof – just another example of Steve Walsh having done "fuck all" since he arrived.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:44:44
Can't believe the lad is only 16! I shall follow his development with interest.

It is refreshing to see two Everton's running in parallel: Koeman's ruthless 3-year plan, with no time to wait on anyone; meanwhile, Steve Walsh is busy signing players who won't be in the first team until long after Koeman's 3-year plan comes to an end.

I just hope Koeman plays Kenny to show kids will be given a chance still, and on current form, finds a game or two for Dowell.

James Flynn
35 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:49:17
Chris - Thanks.

The game was dull. But I just kept watching him. When we got forward, his movement to create a passing lane looked good. Teammates didn't make the pass, though. I'd guess that will improve as they get to know one another.

Looked good the few times he got to touch the ball. Big kid for that age.

Si Cooper
36 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:04:20
I'm not sure I can follow your logic, Steven (#32). It can't just be as simple as ages averaging out.

There is no reason, as long as we can afford it, not to buy as many players we can of whatever age. The limiting factor will be what do they bring to the team / squad.

For me, Rooney has an X-Factor due to his passion for the club and the good chance he will go on to serve the club in other roles, that mitigates against his age / cost. He was also a useful makeweight in a transfer that the club needed to happen given the fact that Lukaku had already departed in spirit anyway. Giroud is more of a gamble, I think, which makes me question whether the money for him could be used to gamble on an emerging player.

In my opinion, an emerging player would be one who has successfully (but unspectacularly) transitioned from junior to senior football but has enough potential improvement left in them to eventually become a top player. That has to be the sort of player by which to judge Steve Walsh's famed ability at discovering hidden gems.

Buying seasoned professionals and 'starlets' has to be the easy part of any transfer policy, although the fact that we are attracting youngsters away from the likes of Arsenal and Man Utd is a huge step up for us.

James Flynn
37 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:09:09
Chris (#8) – The Echo is reporting that Newcastle has accepted a £6 Mil bid for Gibson.
James Marshall
38 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:42:14
I wish people would drop the so -called gamble on players over 30. It's not the 70s anymore.
Rudi Coote
39 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:45:21
I don't know how much more excitement I can take!!!

Get in, Blues!

Keith Johnson
40 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:47:44
Amazing — another gem found!!! Just thinking if he is that good, why not bump him up to the 1st team... Remember Rooney at that age and the impression he made? And now he is back, he could mentor him into a great striker.
Keith Johnson
41 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:55:25
Just another thought: If Arsenal want Barkley, why not do an exchange and we take Walcott and Giroud?
Michael Kenrick
42 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:57:10
James (#24),

Kinsella did feature (albeit sporadically) for the Under-18s in both 2014-15 and 2015-16. Also, scroll down for the pre-season line-ups in those seasons, as the friendlies are not counted toward their appearance stats. Maybe injuries are indeed the problem.

Neil Thomas
43 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:24:13
Karl (#17),

What you've got to remember is those flops you mentioned were not brought in by this management or scouting network.

Sure you will agree but you can't compare Kenwright and Walsh to Martinez and his back-room staff. This lad looks the dogs!

Jermaine Jennings
44 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:29:50
So was Stuart Barlow in his youth days and we all know what happened to him??


Anthony Burke
45 Posted 21/07/2017 at 00:14:27
Wasn't David Henen supposed to be the next Ronaldo? He can't get anywhere near the first team though.
James Flynn
46 Posted 21/07/2017 at 01:19:37
Michael (#41) – Thanks.

Hope he comes good.

Colin Glassar
47 Posted 21/07/2017 at 08:28:09
Anthony, Henen is still receiving treatment to overcome his Ronaldo (MPD) syndrome.
John Pickles
48 Posted 21/07/2017 at 14:33:12
The thing is, every other signing seems to be a striker. Unless we are playing a 1-1-8 formation, how are they going to get enough game time in the U23s?

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