Kieran Dowell says he enjoyed getting a run-out at Goodison Park again in Tuesday evening's SportPesa Trophy game against Gor Mahia.
The 21-year-old was a first-team regular during his loan spell with Nottingham Forest last season, was an integral part of the Everton Under-23s side the year before and played regularly in pre-season this past summer as Marco Silva ran the rule over his new squad.
The arrivals of Theo Walcott, Richarlison and Bernard this year have meant there is now stiff competition for the likes of Dowell and Ademola Lookman on the wings while Gylfi Sigurdsson's impressive form means he is automatic choice in the No.10 role.
Dowell was deployed behind the striker in the ill-fated Carabao Cup tie against Southampton in September but has not featured for the first team since. Nevertheless, he says he is learning a great deal from being SIgurdsson's understudy.
“Yeah, that's been the frustrating thing at the moment — not getting as much game time,” the Ormskirk-born midfielder told the Liverpool Echo after the 4-0 win over the Kenyan side.
“It's nice to get the kit on and get on the pitch at Goodison as well. It was good.
“I still haven't got that first competitive [goal] for Everton but it's always nice to score in front of a good turn out.
“I'm always learning. Obviously Gylfi is a great player to be underneath.
“He's flying at the minute and he's a top professional. He works really hard and he's a great technician who scores some worldies. I think I've came on loads with him.”
Reader Comments (46)
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1 Posted 08/11/2018 at 08:29:22
He's a decent technician but I don't think he looks physically quick or strong enough to be involved in games at a higher standard.
For a clear example of that, who would you have out of:
Dowell or Sigurdsson?
Dowell or Gomes?
Dowell or Gana?
You wouldn't have him in ahead of any of those lads and you wouldn't put him out wide because he's not quick enough, nor is he better than anything we have out there either.
I think a loan in January will do him the world of good, it took Ross Barkley and Leon Osman several loans away to Championship clubs before they became Premier League material.
2 Posted 08/11/2018 at 08:30:41
3 Posted 08/11/2018 at 08:41:55
4 Posted 08/11/2018 at 08:42:36
5 Posted 08/11/2018 at 09:05:50
What is this kid waiting for?
6 Posted 08/11/2018 at 09:24:12
I'd refer that philosophy more to the likes of Paul Pogba etc.
7 Posted 08/11/2018 at 09:38:52
8 Posted 08/11/2018 at 09:57:42
Forest fans loved him when he first started, and became a regular scorer and integral part of their team but, as the season progressed, Dowell regressed. disappearing out of games. In the end, the Forest fans were glad to see him return to Everton, a real 'hero to zero' story.
As a few have mentioned, he has great technical skill and ability, but often fades in games, and seems to lack that edge. He has the potential to be a very good player, but can he maintain that on a regular basis?
9 Posted 08/11/2018 at 10:28:30
Even if Sigurdsson was injured or suspended, Dowell would not get on the pitch. For the sake of his career, I believe he should leave.
We can't progress if we play kids who aren't ready or good enough. Look at the difference Gomes has made coming in for Davies. And Zouma playing instead of Holgate.
There is a reason Man City don't play Foden and Chelsea don't play Loftus-Cheek. They want to win the Premier League, and you cannot achieve your best league position playing kids who are still developing.
If we are serious about breaking the top 6, then we have to be ruthless. It takes a special kid to be under 21 and good enough to be in a top 6 team. Even Martial and Rashford haven't played as much as they would have liked in a struggling Man Utd team.
I believe that Davies and Calvert-Lewin have potential and, although I'm not yet convinced that they are our future, I remain hopeful. Davies has a lot of time on his side but needs to make significant strides.
I believe Dowell should and will leave.
10 Posted 08/11/2018 at 10:43:31
I truly believe Schneiderlin‘s days at Everton are numbered; he might push to move on to another team in the Premier League – someone like Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Watford or the likes.
So, we have Davies, McCarthy, Baningime, and Dowell as back-ups. Dowell might get a few minutes in the FA Cup or later in the season. A loan may very well be a good option.
11 Posted 08/11/2018 at 11:00:36
I think you should look at it like this (forgive the European style position numbers for simplicity!):
Hes not competing with Gana, Davies and Schneiderlin for the number 6 position but even still hes way off getting game time in any of the positions he plays.
Expect to seen him out on loan in January.
12 Posted 08/11/2018 at 11:04:30
I think the likes of Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Kenny and Lookman are a step closer to the first team and likely to get more minutes.
13 Posted 08/11/2018 at 11:05:40
The higher the team is in the Premier League, the harder it is for kids to get game time. Just look at Loftus-Cheek: played well for England but can't get a regular game for Chelsea and is now considering going out on loan again.
Maybe the Premier League need to bring in a rule that allows clubs to only let players go on loan for 1 season; then, after that, they either retain them in their 26-man squad or sell the player. That would be one way of stopping the likes of the big boys stockpiling some of the World's best kids and sending them on loan to pay their wages, while clubs asses whether to keep them.
14 Posted 08/11/2018 at 11:06:26
No coincidence that Mark Warburton was his manager during this hot spell. Warburton believed in him but got sacked. In January, Karanka took over and didn't like his languid style. Herein lies the problem. Dowell is not always trusted by managers. He was in the team that won the Under-20 World Cup but was often substituted when more pace, power, or effort was thought to be needed.
Like others, I am not sure that Kieran Dowell can convince managers who always need results urgently, and there are others ahead of him at Goodison who look to be able to contribute more than him, even though his talent is not in doubt.
15 Posted 08/11/2018 at 11:14:58
16 Posted 08/11/2018 at 11:22:02
Like many young players, and not just at Everton, they don't get the opportunities these days to play regularly and develop their game. A few youngsters are playing abroad. That might be the future route for many...
Bernard (#14), you got there before me with the change of managers.
17 Posted 08/11/2018 at 12:28:14
Either loan him out and let him prove he is good enough, or sell him with a buy-back clause. At the moment, he won't get game time with EFC.
18 Posted 08/11/2018 at 15:40:52
19 Posted 08/11/2018 at 16:42:18
20 Posted 08/11/2018 at 16:59:44
Kieran Dowell is a noticeably quiet lad and perhaps this is why he doesn't seem to express himself as much in games as his talent almost demands.
By comparison, the character of Tom Davies and DCL are very different and I suppose it is no surprise that they were elevated far quicker into the team despite the polarised opinions about their current ability and potential.
One of the most persistent comments made about Tom Davies by his former coaches is the young lad's ability and eagerness to learn. It seems that Dowell strikes most of us as a lad who may yet improve technically but shows next to no sign of ever developing the ability to really take the game on, which in my opinion at least is a crying shame. It is not often that Everton or England produce such 'flair' players.
21 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:11:43
The lad is very young still, and could well develop into a top player. He has an eye for goal, and abilitu to score from almost anywhere on the pitch this makes him ideal back up to Sigurrdson.
We are too eager to cast off young lads as crap if they don't turn out to be wunderkids.
Maybe a loan to Bielsa's leeds for a few months could make him develop that bit more, or maybe 10 games with the blues and training week in week out with Silva and co.
There is a player there, I hope we can get it out of him.
22 Posted 08/11/2018 at 17:27:04
Even at the staggeringly high fitness in this level of football, there are variations. You cannot change speed or stamina past a point if it isn't in your makeup. Anyone can get stronger to a degree but getting usefully stronger without carrying much extra weight has to be genetically possible.
From what I have seen of Dowell though, "Languid" is a good word for much of his play or movement. He has a sort of uncommitted look at times. Then again, did Pirlo ever look like he was even trying half the time? Extreme example, I know.
23 Posted 08/11/2018 at 18:52:34
Everton have had many over the year's and most have moved on to other clubs in other leagues only to prove they really didn't have what it takes.
Vaughan, Jeffers and Jutkeiwiz are some names that come to mind.
24 Posted 08/11/2018 at 23:45:02
25 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:13:40
Quite a few make the squad though. And the funny thing about these young footie players is how they seemingly improve with age. Bizarre, I know.
26 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:38:49
27 Posted 09/11/2018 at 00:53:25
The lad has talent and can score wonder goals out of the blue, but not if he is not getting a decent run of games.
28 Posted 09/11/2018 at 01:04:36
I've said it before but, in 1966, Alan Ball was also only 21, yet he was Man of the Match in a World Cup Final. So any 21-year-old not yet staking a claim by virtue of effort or innate skill has simply missed the boat to any future beyond "journeyman", in my opinion. And that goes for any player at any other club too, even though there may be just a very few examples of players who only "emerged" as top class in their mid to late 20s.
In my 55 years as an Everton fan I can only recall Rooney from our "nursery" as being a really top-notch player rated by others in football. I have the highest possible regard for Colin Harvey too, but he never received Rooney-like appreciation. Apart from that, our much vaunted "nursery" has been conspicuous for decades in adding very little to the first team in a way that made opponents crap themselves.
Dowell has reached the point where he needs to perform in a way that's demanding of selection. He's failed to do so.
His problem, not ours.
29 Posted 09/11/2018 at 01:40:04
That's why the players who have made a big impact on Everton this season are born overseas, because, for too long, English clubs focused more on stamina and fitness than technical ability.
30 Posted 09/11/2018 at 05:54:36
31 Posted 09/11/2018 at 09:23:04
Ratcliffe was one of the best centre-backs in Europe. Royle, who would have been world class but for that terrible back injury, and ditto Higgins; Harvey, who I would have in my all-time greats XI before Rooney any day...
But, thinking about it, you are right: we tend to be better developing youngsters from other clubs. Our own show promise: Husband, Whittle, Jones, Cadamarteri, Vaughan, Rodwell, Barkley etc... then fall away for whatever reason. David Johnson was one of the better ones but he had his best years away from us, like Rooney.
32 Posted 09/11/2018 at 12:26:47
Dowell has just turned 21, so would have started the season as a 20-year-old.
3 examples of players having their “breakout season” after Dowell (And Ball).
Drogba - 23/24
Shearer - 21/22
Kane - 21/22
They were 3 of the best players in the Premier League era (fair enough Kane might not fall into that category yet but is heading in the right direction) but would never have been given the chance with a philosophy like yours.
33 Posted 09/11/2018 at 12:44:12
It's okay to say it and even clever to notice Sigurdsson's work rate, but he has to follow that work rate in games.
I've seen Dowell in the U23s vs Man City and to me he didn't look like a guy trying to catch the manager's eye; he looked like he could only be bothered when someone gave him the ball and he didn't work hard to receive it or win it back for us. He has lot's to learn before he is an important player for us.
I agree, a loan deal would be best for him; then, if we can make the Europa League a mainstay in the group stages next season, that could really make him.
34 Posted 09/11/2018 at 13:41:05
I don't advocate ending his career but how much longer do we keep him and the plethora of others of his age being churned out of Finch Farm?
To me his type of languid demeanor is fine if you're a Pirlo (or a Gomes, hopefully) but it's not fine if you've no second string to your game and, as he showed at Forest, he has a real tendency to fade when trying to mix it in a mans league, unlike Lookman, Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate or Kenny for example.
He might be more technically gifted than all of them, by the way, but in terms of "heart" he just seems a little lacking, and I take no pleasure in reaching that opinion either.
35 Posted 09/11/2018 at 14:10:58
36 Posted 09/11/2018 at 14:44:52
One of the aspects of 'good attacking football' is that often the ball is made to do the work. The best sides press well, but this is ineffective without flair players who make the ball do the work. A good side needs players with a very high work rate, and it needs 'flair players' who rely less on this attribute.
Dowell hasn't had much first team game time, certainly nothing in Premier League matches under Silva. I think his potential for making a major contribution to our progress can be assessed only after he's had a chance to show what he can do with his flair, in a side like the current one where we are gelling more, and where the pressing is being complemented by effective use of the ball doing the work.
37 Posted 09/11/2018 at 15:43:08
I know it sounds harsh but that's the way it is. I've been saying this since Dowell was 16; I mentioned his style once, without mentioning his name, but Harold Mathews was right on the ball, he said "You must mean Dowell" and Harold knew his football.
I always mean it to be constructive criticism but, unless Keiran puts more effort into his game, he will always be on the outside looking in. Much, much better people, than me, who know the game and are involved in it, must have repeatedly told Keiran this. Is he ever going to listen?
38 Posted 09/11/2018 at 16:38:54
Under Silva, we've got a number of players who've been here some time, but have only just started strutting their stuff, showing more fluidity and the enjoyment and fire that can go with it. And they're experienced professionals. So who knows what can be done with a relative youngster who has unusual skills but just needs a spark to get him going.
We can't afford to experiment in the first team, but we can give him a chance. He's only started one Premier League game, when we beat Norwich 3-0, and he played well in a team that was arguably less effective than the current one.
39 Posted 09/11/2018 at 16:50:57
Look at Lingard, only started to show his potential at 25 or 26, and there have been plenty others... heck, look at Callum Wilson. So to write off a player at 21, with barely any first-team football on his CV, is premature.
Dowell has the attributes to be a top player, but yes, he needs to develop, and to be trained. That task is with him, and our coaching staff. But we should try, because yes, it does mean something when a young local lad comes good, and he could save us a fair wad of cash.(Do we really want to have to spend £30 million for a Sigurdsson back up?)
40 Posted 09/11/2018 at 17:41:15
Then look at Lookman, he has on a similar amount of game time proven decisive in moments. Palace only two weeks ago, the cross for the opening goal.
Both the same cohort, but I only ever find myself thinking give Lookman more of a chance?
Why is that? It is, I suspect, because I know one will make it, the other won't.
Even Lookman's temper tantrums show more outward desire than Dowell.
41 Posted 09/11/2018 at 18:07:35
In Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Dowell and Kenny, we have some cracking young players who could all do with first-team football. They're not ready for us now, but would all benefit from more game time in the Championship for a year, and then with a lesser team in the Premier League.
Some of the best players in our history (Graham Sharp?) would have been discarded if we hadn't shown a bit of patience when he was 21. Come to think of it, half of our 80s team would not have been considered good enough at 21.
We have some of the best up-and-coming talent in the country. We need to get them some game time and show some patience – we might have a world beater in there. Harry Kane wasn't even getting a game in the Premier League at 21 – he's worth £200 million now! Let's see what happens!
42 Posted 10/11/2018 at 12:55:16
Imo,Calvert-Lewin, Kenny, Lookman and Davies work their socks off, Baningime didn't look to me like he had that type of effort level when he played in the first team, and likewise, Dowell has been the same. Lately, I've watched a bit of Baningime and he's working himself really hard, he's been very impressive, but in the same games (especially the Man City game), Dowell hasn't even looked interested.
I believe the ball is firmly in Dowell's corner: if he works as hard as the others, he will get more game time; if not, he will have a successful loan spell.
43 Posted 10/11/2018 at 14:24:45
So far, Dowell is not in that class. He's not even shown as much as Davies, who himself may struggle to get on the bench after next summer's transfer window if the club carries on with its current ambitions.
If he's happy to stay and fight for his place, great. Otherwise, wish him all the best and sell him on. But, if he does stay, he'll be competing with the existing squad, new signings, and the next batch of youngsters to come through. He's going to have to do something pretty spectactular to break into our first team.
44 Posted 10/11/2018 at 14:26:50
What temper tantrums from Lookman?
I know he went on loan last year to Germany for first-team football – are you counting that?
And also he wanted a move back there this season. But he hardly refused to play for us again (like Tevez) or tweeted bad stuff about the club (like Berhahino).
I'm so intrigued as to how a few rumours said often enough become accepted fact???
45 Posted 10/11/2018 at 14:57:27
"Tantrums" may just be John's way of describing those actions. "Flashes of temper" may have been more accurate but I knew what he meant.
46 Posted 12/11/2018 at 11:47:36
It is slightly unfortunate for him that the games he plays he will have squad players around him so the service he receives may not be the best which probably makes it easier for him to drift out of games.
I might be the only one here who thinks he should not go out on loan; he will just fall further down the pecking order whilst at least he has quality technical players to learn from even if he is training alongside them.
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