04/06/2024 96comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have announced that recent first-team squad members Lewis Warrington and Mackenzie Hunt will be among a number of players leaving the Club this summer.

The young midfielder, who made his Premier League debut in the final home game of the season, is one of several academy products who have not been offered a new contract. It marks the end of a 15-year spell at the club for the 21-year-old, who joined as a schoolboy.

Following his debut as an added-time substitute n the dying minutes of the game against Sheffield Utd, manager Sean Dyche heaped praise on the centre-midfielder and said: “He’s been terrific. He is a young player, he trains so well, so hard, gives his lot, has got a brilliant attitude and it was nice to just get him on. Even though it was only for a few moments, it was nice to get him on.”

Mackenzie Hunt, who was on the bench as an unused sub alongside Warrington for the final game at Arsenal, will also leave along with Katia Kouyate (who scored in the pre-season win over Stade Nyonnais last summer), Kyle John, Ed Jones and Dylan Graham.

Article continues below video content

Under-21s defender Roman Dixon, who is currently with the England elite squad (formerly the U20s), Jacob Beaumont-Clark and Bradley Moonan have been offered new deals with the club. Sean McAllister and Liam Higgins will remain at Everton on a short-term basis to enable the midfielders to continue their recoveries from injury.

In the U18s, Matthew Apter, Callum Bates, Jack Butler, Coby Ebere, Odin Samuels-Smith, Jack Patterson and Martin Sherif have signed professional contracts. Goalkeeper Sebastian Jensen and defender Danny Maher will leave when their current deals end this month.


Reader Comments (96)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer ()

Sam Hoare
1 Posted 04/06/2024 at 12:39:11
Some surprising names amongst the youngsters released by Everton. List includes Warrington, Hunt and Kouyate.

Warrington especially would have seemed like a low-cost replacement for Onana. Perhaps letting him go may indicate that Thelwell is more confident of strengthening the team this summer than some would believe? Or maybe he just wanted to move to a club where he could get first-team football.

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 04/06/2024 at 13:02:29
Or they are simply not at the level required, Sam?
Sam Hoare
3 Posted 04/06/2024 at 13:15:30

I guess my point is that when you're in real financial straits obviously it affects the quality of playing squad. We're not heavy on numbers (especially with sales expected) and so if finances were quite so grim then academy players like Warrington or Kouyate provide cheap cover.

Like I said, either they wanted to leave or Thelwell is confident we can afford cover from elsewhere.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 04/06/2024 at 14:27:06
Fine Sam. It's just that I shake my head sometimes when I read that Dyche isn't interested in youth because I'm certain that most managers would love to have really talented young players they could call upon.

I think that the kids who are leaving will be leaving because they are not (yet) at the level required and, although I take your point and hope that this is to be the case, with regards our finances, I don't believe they are anywhere near Premier League level, which means there's very little point in keeping them, imo mate.

Ian Bennett
5 Posted 04/06/2024 at 14:38:06
What it proves again is the academy isn't working.

A more radical approach is needed here in terms of the youth teams playing against real competitive sides in the pyramid.

Rob Jones
6 Posted 04/06/2024 at 14:40:10
The academy pays for itself, Ian. This can be seen in the sales over the past few years.

I do find this very disappointing, though. I'd be unsurprised to see Warrington playing top-flight football very long from now.

Danny O’Neill
7 Posted 04/06/2024 at 15:06:39
A shame about Lewis. I had high hopes for him. A talented football, who I hope goes on to have a successful career in the professional game.

My wife used to work for Liverpool. My sister still does. I remember them coming back, having travelled with the official club party very upset. Their young academy players got informed on the train before they hit Lime Street.

"You're going to Rochdale". "You're going to Oldham". "You're being released".

Apparently a lot were in tears. Cut throat and ruthless. We all understand, but there is a way and means.

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 04/06/2024 at 15:08:01
I can see Warrington doing a Lundstram or Forshaw and making it to the Premier League at some point. But the expectation of him becoming a first-teamer with us was always massively unrealistic – and massively overestimating the quality of academy football generally.

With very, very few exceptions – the only kids to make it via academy football are playing lots of games at England youth international level through the various age groups. Warrington was never in that category.

I wish him well, and hope he finds a really good club to develop with.

Kieran Kinsella
9 Posted 04/06/2024 at 16:31:28

I was thinking the same with Warrington doing a Lundstram – on which point, it's about time for Ryan Ledson to do his Lundstram.

The concerning thing here is that, regardless of whether these players were "good enough", Warrington and Hunt were regularly in the match day squad.

As were obviously Gomes, and Danjuma. So in terms of sheer numbers we are down several players. Then we may hold onto three veterans who are another year older Coleman, Young and Gueye.

We are really down to the bare bones and with apparently no money to spend unless we weaken ourselves further by cashing in on our few valuable players.

Dale Self
10 Posted 04/06/2024 at 16:34:12
Drag, I thought Lewis Warrington would make it at some level with us. He definitely has the vision but his frame could get bounced around in a league that demands physicality.

I guess I should be glad Reece Welch wasn't on the out list.

Jay Harris
11 Posted 04/06/2024 at 16:48:08
I am more disappointed for the lads themselves, especially Warrington and McKenzie, who were close but not close enough.

I have always said the gulf between youth level and Premier's League is a chasm.

I doubt even Branthwaite would have made the jump but for a season in Holland.

Obviously Dyche and Thelwell know what they are doing and I guess with finances so tight they are planning on a small but effective squad and try to keep them injury free.

Peter Mills
12 Posted 04/06/2024 at 16:49:51
All I have seen of Lewis Warrington is the couple of minutes in the Sheffield Utd match, and the pre-season friendly at Bolton when he was the only player to come out of the game with any credit.

Best wishes to him. If his attitude is as Sean Dyche says in his article above, he has a chance of having a decent career.

Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 04/06/2024 at 16:51:55
Robert #8,

I always think of the same two players when I read about our youngsters being released.

Forshaw made it back to the Premier League with both Boro and Leeds and built a fine career in the Championship, where he is still on the books at Plymouth Argyle.

Lundstram, a true warrior, made it back up with Blades, scored in all four divisions of the Football League, and then went to Rangers, where his career unfortunately just ended with a nightmare Old Firm Derby -- an own-goal and a brutal red card that pretty much clinched the title for Celtic.

Both have long ago proved themselves true professionals.... who were never quite good enough for the Premier League. I've not seen anyone on TW who watched Warrington predict that he'd be a true Premier League player, although Rob #6 comes close. If he accomplishes what the other two have, he will have done brilliantly.

Kieran, good shout on Ledson, him too.

Duncan McDine
14 Posted 04/06/2024 at 17:12:14
It doesn't seem too long ago that Everton's academy were producing some decent talent, but in actual fact, it’s been feckin’ ages since a proper player emerged from the youth setup.

My guess is that Moshiri's (Usmanov's) initial plan to simply buy success (which obviously failed) created a degree of complacency about bringing young talent through. Or it could be a coincidence.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 04/06/2024 at 17:12:50
I can see Warrington and Hunt getting decent offers from lower-league clubs although Hunt might be inclined to join a European club seeing as his parents live in one of those countries.

Is Onyango still on the books? He must be older than Onana, are they thinking he is ready to move up if Onana is sold? Two big strong strong-looking lads, I'll say that for them and leave it there.

John Raftery
16 Posted 04/06/2024 at 17:20:09
As Robert says (@8), if Academy players are not standing out among their peers and playing in their international age groups, they have little or no chance of breaking into a Premier League team.

It doesn't mean they can't have a decent career at a lower level with a possibility of working their way back towards the top but even then the odds are against them.

I also agree with Jay (@11) about the chasm between the Premier League and the youth academies. That makes all the more worrying our Under-18s and Under-21s finished near the bottom of their respective leagues.

Peter Gorman
17 Posted 04/06/2024 at 17:49:28

I wouldn't say it has been 'feckin ages' since Antony Gordon emerged from the youth team.

Surprised by Warrington, he has had some loan spells out and probably could have demanded a fee. Nevermind, good luck to him and the others.

Brian Wilkinson
18 Posted 04/06/2024 at 18:00:36
I think Lewis Warrington and Mackenzie Hunt will come back to bite us on the backside, just like Antonee Robinson.

Very surprised we are releasing Lewis Warrington, he could certainly play a forward pass rather than turn and pass it back to our defenders.

Time will tell but I think Warrington will get a good offer somewhere and will succeed.

Brent Stephens
19 Posted 04/06/2024 at 18:12:40
Lewis Warrington I thought might just about make it with us. He hasn't progressed quite as much as I'd hoped out on loan.

Hunt has actually developed more than I expected… but late on — maybe too late.

Martin Farrington
20 Posted 04/06/2024 at 18:21:23
Having watched the academy sides a fair few times last season and over several seasons, I have to say that they weren't great.

No one stood out. Like they were going through the motions. There was little to suggest any of them were likely to step up to the first XI as decimated as it was. There was no leader or leadership on the pitch.

To me, if these lads were that good, they'd be out on loan. I appreciate what a messed up system that is.

However, when Dobbin dropped down, he would stand out like a shining beacon. Decimating opponents and even his team mates. He was like a kid in the school yard you couldn't get the ball off and would never pass.

But the gulf between the Academy and Premier League is vast. As it was between young Dobbin and the other academy players. Too good for one and not quite the ticket for the other (yet – touch wood).

My overall impression is the academy is wrong. They play wrong. They are out of sync. They should be like a quality timepiece where all the parts not only work well but look good whilst doing so.

Our scouts in general aren't good enough. Some Kudos for Stones, Branthwaite and perhaps erm… but jeez. Where are we at when we are now a survivalist club that can't spot talent? Our coaches are clearly not either. But that's been the way forever at our club.

Taking in kids under 10??? That's wrong at all levels. (I know everyone else does, so we should too…)

Letting them then stay for a decade or more then releasing them as not good enough. Hmmm… you had them for long enough. So what does that say!!!

I don't believe any kid should be in a football academy before 14 or 15. Then scholarships should be the way forward.

I am glad that many have been released rather than kept on under false pretences and it is shit this way. As I have said, the club should have released them way back when they weren't gonna be any kid wonder.

Looking down the ranks right now, I don't see anyone likely.
Everton are not in a place to restructure right now. So it will be business as usual. Rinse and repeat.

Duncan McDine
21 Posted 04/06/2024 at 18:39:32
Peter 17... my God, how did I forget him!

Fair point well put, but in general, it seems like we used to produce some top talent worthy of first-team footy, much more so than recent years.

Such a shame that pretty much all of them had to be sold off to allow Kenwright to keep his train set.

Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 04/06/2024 at 19:04:49
I agree with the sentiment on academies. I think the whole system needs restructuring.

Kids shouldn't go into them until at least the age of 14.

The club(s) should scout and monitor. Go out and coach, but support local teams and leave the kids in their natural environment rather than place them in the enclosed bubble of Finch Farm.

Everton in the Community does great work. How about Everton in the Football Community?

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 04/06/2024 at 19:40:14
I've said it a million times, our academy is a joke and should be either closed down or restructured with proper scouts and coaches.

The Kenwright legacy of mediocrity continues with his old boys network still running the show under the nose of the gormless Moshiri.

Peter Mills
24 Posted 04/06/2024 at 20:29:48
I watch a lot of kids' footy at 8-, 9-, 10-year-old level and I love it.

Love watching the boys and girls grow up, develop their skills, understand discipline, how to play with others who are better or worse than them, take a bollocking for misbehaving if necessary, have a laugh, mess about.

I suspect children who go into an academy miss out on a lot of this.

Tony Abrahams
25 Posted 04/06/2024 at 20:30:22
I agree with most of what you have written, Martin, but I think the club has already begun to restructure at Academy level. After a few years of not producing much talent, I don't think they could afford to wait any longer.

Grassroots has been the biggest loser since the academies started bringing in talented kids at an ever younger age, Danny. I agree that, if the clubs were really interested in reforming football at this level, then there would be a lot more long-term benefits for the sport in general.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe England has begun to reap the benefits at the highest level because of a system they started implementing about 25 years ago?

Raymond Fox
26 Posted 04/06/2024 at 20:40:00
In the end, it comes down to natural ability, that's what elite players have to possess.

You can educate them, teach them what's expected of them etc, but they have to have that class along with a degree of intelligence.

Youngsters now have it more difficult to break into the Premier League because of the number of foreign players; before this trend, they were only competing with players from the UK.

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 04/06/2024 at 20:56:51
Raymond, that's a vicious circle of a debate.

If we invested in grassroots, the talent is out there.

We are slowly seeing it come through in terms of clubs like Chelsea and the England team. Foden is a great player.

But for years, there is a reason English clubs invested in foreign players. Because ours were not up to the standard they wanted.

Double-edged sword. I know what I want having spent many weekends on the sidelines coaching the youth teams.

David West
28 Posted 04/06/2024 at 21:02:06
The difference between a good professional player and a top level Premier League player is massive now. The Premier League doesn't just have the best players in the country, they have the best of the best in the world now.

However other teams are bringing top talent through – you only have to look at a strong young England team to see that. We just don't seem to be able to recently, for whatever them reasons are.

Investment is the main reason: Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal and Liverpool probably spend much more than us and see them materialise into players like Palmer, Foden, Saka, Elliott etc, yet they probably turn over more players than us too, letting many go.
It's a odds game as much as it is a scouting or coaching role, the more bright young players with genuine ability you take in, the better your chances of unearthing a true star.

Rob Jones
29 Posted 04/06/2024 at 21:44:06
Mike, I don't think he'll be a top player. But he's good, and he will absolutely improve with a couple of seasons at Championship level, and a bit of time without injuries.

No reason he doesn't follow a Forshaw-type of trajectory.

Jay Harris
30 Posted 04/06/2024 at 21:55:45
I always had high hopes for Beni Baningime but again the jump was too much for him.

I believe he is playing in Scotland now, another area that used to be a source of good footballers before the Premier League.

Jamie Crowley
31 Posted 04/06/2024 at 22:01:47
David West exactly spot on:

The difference between a good professional player and a top-level Premier League player is massive now.

Raymond also spot on:

In the end, it comes down to natural ability, that's what elite players have to possess.

Think about Mike's example @13 regarding John Lundstram.

Not good enough for Everton, but goes on to actually play in the Premier League, and then play at Ibrox in the Old Firm derby. Ibrox, against Celtic, a cauldron of passion if there ever was one.

It irks me to see statements like, "Not good enough" or such similar things. Like, really? They are plenty good enough in numerous cases and go on to ply a professional living and trade in a slight peg down. And tell Celtic and Rangers supporters they're a "peg down" and then count your teeth.

These kids are fantastic footballers. It just so happens you're watching the like 0.01% of talent on the globe viewing the Premier League.

Good luck to all of them. I hope they all get to play in front of 60,000 rabid fans in Ibrox or Celtic Park or Bramall Lane.

Not good enough? Pah-leez already!!! How's your 7 a-side over 40 team faring???

Neil Lawson
32 Posted 04/06/2024 at 22:26:03
Ashley Young or Lewis Warrington?

It can not be about natural ability and that tiny extra percentage. If it were and if Warrington is judged not good enough, why are we wasting so much money employing a declining near 40-year-old? Surely both should go?

Who are we going to replace Warrington with? There is no money. I am mystified by the whole situation and fascinated to see how it will be addressed, especially with a manager who appears to not trust in young players (Branthwaite excepted).

Jay Harris
33 Posted 04/06/2024 at 22:59:53
Not forgetting Dobbin and Chermiti, Neil
Peter Gorman
34 Posted 04/06/2024 at 23:21:40
Martin @20

A question for you and anyone else then, (I'm thinking of Dave A and Brent, who I believe go and watch some of the youth matches too).

Did Antony Gordon stand out and if so, any more than Kieran Dowell or Antony Evans?

I know he was always the 'Ginger Messi' but Dowell in particular, in my opinion, was far more impressive at youth level.

So perhaps one of the major differences in their career prospects was game time in the first team at a young age under a manager that had faith in them.

Dowell had a pretty decent loan in the championship with Forest and then came back to our reserves (I think). These wilderness years in matches with nothing riding on them won't develop first team players.

Not every prospect from the academy has to be the next Rooney.

A fair few years ago the Germans resurrected their ailing national side by ensuring clubs gave more game time to young homegrown players. That similar aspiration isn't really being met in the Premier League and certainly not by struggling Everton.

Dyche barely plays Patterson who we paid good money for, so how can he progress. Injuries aside obviously.

Ed Prytherch
35 Posted 05/06/2024 at 00:53:22
Does Timothy Weah count?
Dupont Koo
36 Posted 05/06/2024 at 02:35:54
For all the glooms about our Academy teams not producing a pipeline on talents, we need to keep in mind that:

1) We can still produce solid Football League Professionals, eg, Forshaw, Lundstram & Antonee Robinson. It's just that they didn't blossom until they were in the midst of their 2nd or 3rd contracts after leaving the Academy (ie, graduating from U21).

If each contract is either 2 to 3 years long, that means if we need to yield the fruits, we need to keep them on payroll (and sometimes on salaries that Football League Clubs cannot afford to take on full when on loans) for 3 to 4 years at least (when they would either be on subsidised loans to other clubs or the periphery of the 1st Team). With our current dire financial shape, that is not possible, and hence Warrington's and Hunt's departure.

2) Thelwell spoke about astute trading earlier. For the likes of Forshaw and Lundstram to yield values for the club (Robinson got us £2 Million with Add-Ons, but we could and should have got more IMHO), they have to have a good track record of performing at various levels of Football Leagues (preferably Championship or League One, and ideally with one of the Continental Leagues like Jarrad's time at the Netherlands) before attracting non-nominal bids from other clubs.

Warrington & Hunt, at this current time, carried no sale values because of their lack of track records in the pyramid.

So, in terms of where Thelwell and his front office team earn their paycheques, how can they get as many of the youngsters ready for the trenches of the Football League by the time they graduate from the U21s (let alone our 1st team), and maximise the number of those youngsters who can be sold for non-nominal amounts? 3 Ishé Samuels-Smith (£3 Million to Chelsea) or one Tom Cannon (£7 Million to Leicester) can get us roughly one James Garner (£9 Million on the spot of transfer before Add-Ons).

ps: For all the benefit of the doubts I have given Thelwell since his commencement with the club, he needs to do a better job telling us what areas each of the 3 headed-monsters of James Vaughan (recently made Head of Academy Recruitment & Player Pathways), Gareth Prosser (Academy Director) and Carl Darlington (Head of Academy Coaching) is responsible for on the way to achieve the aforementioned goal.

Jerome Shields
37 Posted 05/06/2024 at 07:30:21
Since Big Sam, I have always felt that there has been a reluctance to use youth because of the perennial threat of sliding down the table. I also have questions regarding the recruitment of some Academy personnel.

The insight of Martin @20 shows how it is on the ground and the gulf that needs to be addressed but, in the current financial situation, is unlikely to be.

Good Luck to the recently released lads in their future careers.

Ian Bennett
38 Posted 05/06/2024 at 07:38:15
My concern is the following.

We have a manager that prefers experience over youth. That is bad news for anyone in the academy now, and makes it a hard sell to anyone coming in.

The change on academy rules on distance travelled, and the new monster of City, is killing our ability to recruit good-level kids. Anything decent is going to Man City for the private education, stature, wages and quality of coaching. Everton are way down the pecking order after City, Liverpool and Man Utd for local talent. Even if you've got something decent, City and Chelsea will pick it off later.

The standard of youth football is just miles off Championship or Premier League. It totally begs the question what's the point of kids going to academies? They may as well go the John Stones route and make it in a club, and then get a move when they're more likely to play.

That tells you our academy needs a bigger challenge than playing sterile U18 and U21 games. Moyes’s view to have a team in the pyramid is what is needed. Proper football with competition. They should be good enough to play their way out of it.

The talk of the Everton academy is pretty poor. From what is said, it’s run really poorly and standards aren't where they need to be. Thelwell needs to be all over this. Where we are, it needs to be seen as the best around in terms of standards and delivery, a real beacon of hope.

Danny O’Neill
39 Posted 05/06/2024 at 07:53:01
I'm not sure about that Ian mate.

Branthwaite (21) has been an established regular.

Mykolenko, now 25, but has played for us before that.

McNeil is now still only 24.

Onana, still only 22.

James Garner, 23.

Calvert-Lewin is hardly past it at 27.

All backed up with experience from Tarkowski and Pickford.

So, just because he possibly doesn't rate what is coming out of the academy, doesn't mean he isn't averse to playing young players.

In my opinion, he's picking his teams to play the system he wants, regardless of age.

Sam Hoare
40 Posted 05/06/2024 at 08:01:53
Ian, you say our manager prefers experience but he has made Branthwaite, Garner and Onana regulars in his team and all are 23 or under, Branthwaite was only 19. He's also given some time to Patterson and Dobbin and Chermiti.

I'm not sure how much he can be expected to play youth just for youth's sake, especially in the recent circumstances.

As Martin @20 says, there just has not been talent to pick from and that is a concern. But it is tough when you are competing against better resourced acadamies who cherry pick your best talents between the ages of 16-18.

I'd be interested in us looking further afield for young talent but I'd think, given how small our first team squad is currently, that we might be an attractive proposition for young players looking to break into first-team opportunities.

Phil Smith
41 Posted 05/06/2024 at 09:47:47
All this talk about “not being good enough” is all hearsay, unless a player had a run of games to see if he could truly make the step up.

For a while, it looked like Tom Davies could – he had so many chances to cement his place and grow but it just didn't happen. Lewis Warrington was never given a chance, so we just don't know how he could have developed.

It's so important for these players to advance, via the loan system, and play in a lower league, then play either in the Championship or in another top 8 European league for a season and do well.

That seems to be the only way young British players get the chance to play, unless they are super talented (like Mainoo, for example). Germany and France have a much better system and their talent get chances in their leagues.

I feel for any young English lads. 99% have no chance to see if they can step up unless they have coaches with the balls to risk losing points trying youth. We, unfortunately do not have the luxury to do that.

I think we should have tried Lewis out in one of those leagues this season, but maybe no-one wanted to take him and the club decided to cut their losses, rather than give him another year or 2 and push for a loan like that.

I'm sure he'll at least end up a decent Championship player like all the names mentioned already above. Good luck to the lad. He'll need it.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 05/06/2024 at 10:07:06
Phil, there are a couple of factors at play.

The manager of the time's view on the player.

I like Warrington and he should go on to have a career in the professional game.

He did go out on loan. To Fleetwood and Plymouth.

Maybe with Rooney now down there, he could make a return to Home Park?

Phil Smith
43 Posted 05/06/2024 at 10:21:48
And by all accounts, Danny, he didn't set the world alight and was a bit unlucky with injuries. The club probably made the right call.

I'm sure we'll see him make a decent career in the Championship, but he'll probably drop down to League One, if he's lucky enough to find a club.

I know our own club is pretty good helping these lads find something at the right level. Maybe Wrexham, Bolton or Wigan could be a good fit? Not too far from home to travel.

James Hughes
44 Posted 05/06/2024 at 10:34:30
It's mystifying how we do not even seek a fee for Lewis Warrington.

I have read in the past few day that the RS and the Chavs are demanding £20M for players that have barely featured for the first team.

Whether they get it is a different matter but at least they have the right idea.

Danny O’Neill
45 Posted 05/06/2024 at 10:55:00
I think it shows you, Phil, the step up from youth to senior is a big one, especially at the highest level.

He is still only 21 and a good footballer. Lewis can craft a career in game.

David West
46 Posted 05/06/2024 at 11:14:23
I don't know all the financial ins and outs, but I agree with some comments about young players playing League One or League Two football regularly are probably developing better than those in our academy. So doesn't it make sense to pick 18- or 19-year_olds like Branthwaite from teams in these leagues or even foreign leagues to try and develop?

I know Branthwaite is a bit special, but he's not the only young player player who can step up. This doesn't mean abandoning the academy, but supplementing it with players already used to playing regularly for a first team.

As I've said before, it's about investment, something that's obviously been lacking at academy level.

Sam Hoare
47 Posted 05/06/2024 at 11:23:45
Phil, as Danny points out, Warrington did get a few loan moves and neither really propelled him forwards. He's been a bit unlucky with injuries certainly.

But it's strange that Hunt and Kouyate, who are older than Warrington, both leave without a single loan move.

I really think good loan moves and first-team minutes between the ages of 17-20 are what helps push a player forward at that time. Are we lacking in this area of facilitation? Or is it that the players are just not good enough to garner the loan interest that would be helpful? Difficult to say.

Perhaps this is where owners with a multi-club model might have been useful and, as much as 777 Partners seem to have been found wanting, I was keen on a setup that could see the best young players sent out for formative development experiences around Europe.

Phil Smith
48 Posted 05/06/2024 at 14:58:52
Good point about the multi-club model, Sam. Having some other clubs to loan players out to earlier in their development could really be beneficial to our academy players.
Brian Harrison
49 Posted 05/06/2024 at 17:36:02
Seems that both Man City and Liverpool have no problem in attracting local boys and coaching them to a level that they can come into these sides and look quite comfortable. Whether that is because of the quality of the first team managers or the quality of the academy coaches,I don't know.

Certainly Man City have had some real quality local youngsters that have come through their academy set-up, notably Phil Foden, Cole Palmer, Rico Lewis, and Liverpool have also had local lads come into the first team this season and shine.

So, apart from Anthony Gordon, we don't seem to produce local boys that progress from the academy set-up to the first team, in the last few seasons.

Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 05/06/2024 at 18:37:40
That what I was thinking with 777 Sam, but seemingly dead in the water now.

Brian, it depends on the definition of local. It's more regional. I don't think either Manchester City or Liverpool have many from their respective cities in the first team squad.

Like us, they probably have many in the academy. Very few come though.

Ian Bennett
51 Posted 05/06/2024 at 18:56:54
Sam & Danny, too generous by far.

Dyche is a pragmatic manager, he runs small squads that have loads of experience through his career. Hard to beat, good at set pieces. He does what it says on the tin. He inherited those players you listed and I believe, given the money, would have made different purchase decisions in the form of Onana or Garner.

He isn't going to build a team of young, up-and-coming world-beaters. He was near the sack this season, so he's not going to put that on the line for young players still learning. It just isn't in his DNA.

When Onana and Branthwaite get sold, he isn't going to be buying and starting a 19-year-old and 23-year-old in their place. I just can't see him buying that type of player or starting one. That filters down.

If he isn't the manager to play young players, why would an academy prospect sign for our club without a pathway?

Liverpool won the League Cup playing kids, and getting Liverpool on their CV. If you're a quality prospect, are you honestly telling your son Dyche and Everton are the right club?

Rob Halligan
52 Posted 05/06/2024 at 19:07:34
Danny, it's odd that it's called the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), there is even a Welsh county, Glamorgan, who play in the County Championship, and yet there is no national team.

Scotland and Ireland both have teams playing at the current T20 World Cup. I can only imagine that's it's a mix of English and Welsh players, and a few non British, in fact a real liquorice all sorts team, going under the England banner.

Brian Harrison
53 Posted 05/06/2024 at 19:38:26

Phil Foden, Cole Palmer and Rico Lewis are born and bred in Manchester.

Regarding our manager, he has hardly given any youngsters any minutes, and has basically said that they are not good enough. Yet I don't hear of any changes to the academy coaching or recruitment teams.

Seeing that we have very little money, academy recruitment and coaching is vital if we hope to get out of the mess we are in.

I find the pursuit of Harrison very puzzling, as his goal output and assists are poor; surely we have to add players of pace and better goal return than Harrison has produced?

Robert Tressell
54 Posted 05/06/2024 at 19:47:09
A few myths:

1. We won't know until we give our kids a chance in the first team...

A nice sentiment, but no. It's not just our first-team manager that forms a view on whether these kids are good enough. It is variously our own youth team coaches, youth international coaches, lower league scouts looking for good quality loans and – importantly – hindsight too. Apart from Antonee Robinson, I can't think of a single player we've released who has gone on to be good enough to get in our first team. And Robinson left because he wasn't good enough to oust Digne at the time.

2. Dyche doesn't like youth

See Branthwaite, Onana and Garner – along with Keane, Mee, Pope, McNeil and Trippier at Burnley...

Okay, he's not going to suddenly become a devoted youth development manager but very, very few are. Much like pretty much every other manager in the Premier League, Dyche will play whoever is best for the position.

3. We can't compete at academy level because we've got the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool on our doorstep.

See the quality coming through the Academy at Atalanta in Italy on the doorstep of Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus and Torino. It is a choice about levels of investment, not geography.

4. Liverpool bring through lots of local kids.

Better than us, but not by a big margin. The crop coming through at the moment have been bought in: Elliot, Bradley, Gordon, McConnell and Clarke – all recruited from other clubs and just the tip of the iceberg of a huge recruitment drive from across the British Isles. Fair enough, Alexander-Arnold, Morton, Quansah and Danns are local. But that's not a massive difference to Gordon, Cannon, Samuels-Smith and Lawrence.

5. Liverpool sell for big money and we let ours go for nowt

Yes, of sorts. But the quality isn't comparable. Liverpool are selling players with strong credentials on loan at Championship and / or youth international level. Our youth products are struggling to get Championship loans (usually a tier or two below in the football pyramid) and we've next to nothing other than goalies in the youth international set up.

The two players we could possibly have got more money for are Dowell after his loan at Forest and good showing in the U20s World Cup – and Robinson.

Denver Daniels
55 Posted 05/06/2024 at 19:55:04
Does anyone know how Stanley Mills is getting on and if there's any chance he breaks into the first-team squad this season?

I have high hopes for him. But then I had high hopes for Kieran Dowell and we know how that turned out.

Robert Tressell
56 Posted 05/06/2024 at 20:04:40

Stanley Mills is now age 20 and has played 21 games in the Third Tier with Oxford Utd, scoring 1 and assisting 5. He has not been capped for England at any youth level.

Same age as fellow right-wingers Oscar Bobb, Willy Gnonto and Omari Hutchison for example.

I hope he's an exception to the usual rule, but the chances of him making it with Everton are very, very low.

Brian Harrison
57 Posted 05/06/2024 at 20:09:05

I doubt you can use Onana, Garner and Branthwaite as Dyche liking youngsters – he didn't sign any of the players you mentioned. And Marcel Brands took Branthwaite to PSV and even when he came back Dyche still preffered Michael Keane.

If you're right that we can't compete with the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool, then we might be as well to scrap the academies altogether and save a fortune.

As for the young local-born Liverpool players you mentioned, they played a lot more first-team games than Cannon, Samuels-Smith and Lawrence.

As you say, apart from Gordon, there is only probably Robinson who has gone on to play regularly in the Premier League, which just highlights how poor our recruitment and coaching at academy level are.

Robert Tressell
58 Posted 05/06/2024 at 20:20:29
Brian, it was Dyche who didn't sell Branthwaite last summer when lots of clubs were interested and we were desperate for money - and Dyche who then gave him 35 games in the Premier League and developed him into an England International.

I also do think we can compete with our close neighbours at academy level. That was my point.

Completely agree that the coaching and recruitment into the academy has been sub-par for ages though - albeit some possible cause for optimism with step up in recruitment this summer.

Peter Warren
59 Posted 05/06/2024 at 20:36:21
Wish we would concentrate on recruitment of top academy players. Maybe we will. Only way I see us able to compete.

I don't buy this notion that Dyche doesn't trust youth. I think he values experience but, if someone's good enough (Branthwaite, McNeil) and nobody better, he plays them.

I hope Patterson and Garner improve; I think they both had poor seasons but I can see potential. Warrington I don't know much about but I suspect coaches just viewed him as not good enough for us and I'm doubtful a different decision would be made if Dyche wasn't manager.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 05/06/2024 at 20:55:52
I think it's going to be intriguing to see how many of the younger players who have been given a sniff by Liverpool actually break through in the next couple of seasons, Robert.

I haven't seen enough of them to form a proper opinion, but believe that, if Liverpool want to keep qualifying for the Champions League, it won't be many, so a club like Everton have just got to start finding the talent and creating a pathway for the talent to succeed!

Easier said than done, I know, but I've got a feeling that things are going to be changing for the better very soon and this has got to become such an important part of our clubs future after the disastrous Moshiri era of wasting money on so much mediocrity.

Good point about McNeil, Peter, because Dyche must have given him his debut when he was still a young kid.

Robert Tressell
61 Posted 05/06/2024 at 21:09:13
Tony, I am sure that's right. I expect Bradley and Elliot to make it but others like Jones, Quansah etc are more likely to be second string / League Cup type players (getting about 10 to 15 starts a season).

In a weird way, the fact that we're skint and expectations are lower is sort of an advantage – it means we can give players first-team football who won't make it at the likes of Man City, Chelsea etc etc.

There's a generation of very good City academy players who will all struggle to get into the first team – except for Bobb and Lewis. The likes of Doyle, McAtee, Hamilton, Wilson-Esbrand and others would be a very good fit for us.

Dave Abrahams
62 Posted 05/06/2024 at 21:24:36
Peter (34),

Gordon looked great at various times but never really played well throughout the game. He could get you off your seat with some great dribbles and goals then go missing. His obvious talent and potential is now bearing fruit with Newcastle.

Dowell had very good ball control and an eye for long passes but he never ever liked the hard work of the game, like tackling and coming back to help the team regain the ball. I repeatedly pointed this out as constructive criticism.

He never improved this part of his game and even now at Glasgow Rangers he is much the same, should be doing better as his physical shape is much bigger now but his heart for the fight isn't.

The coaching at the Academy is my biggest moan: the teams turned out seem devoid of any individuality and that part of a player's game looks like it is coached out of them instead of being encouraged.

Tony Abrahams
63 Posted 05/06/2024 at 21:28:23
I sometimes think It would be better to base things around this type of ideology, Robert, rather than spending years upon years coaching kids in our own academy for such little rewards.

I'm sure there are both pros and cons but everyone seems to want the best young talent even though my own guess is that it might be worth expanding a lot more energy on the late developers.

Denver Daniels
64 Posted 05/06/2024 at 22:26:34
It's always interesting to me that you can have a player like Gana who excels without the ball but contributes very little on it, and he'll get into the team, but a player like Dowell who only really contributes when in possession, will not.

Just using Dowell as an example.

Andy Riley
65 Posted 05/06/2024 at 22:41:57
Being completely honest, apart from Wayne Rooney, we haven't had any youngsters coming through to real sustained top-level success since the dawn of the Premier League? I don't really think it's a recent thing.

We've made good money out of some, such as Rodwell and Jeffers, but their careers went downhill after leaving us.

Danny O’Neill
66 Posted 05/06/2024 at 22:46:42
It depends on the type of player, Denver.

Some, like Branthwaite, are comfortable on the ball.

Sometimes, it is often more important what you do off the ball, be that tracking, making runs to create space or allow those players who are good on the ball to play. Not every player is.

Barry Rathbone
67 Posted 05/06/2024 at 22:52:24
The English game rarely produces complete footballers; we've had decades of barely capable footballers progressing into coaching and it shows. I wouldn't be surprised if the lads released are good players but technique is secondary to physicality in England.

I don't think it's any coincidence Bellingham and Branthwaite are flourishing after formative years abroad.

Even Ademola Lookman looks a genuine player after escaping the Neanderthal Premier League.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
68 Posted 05/06/2024 at 23:01:43
There is an issue about trawling leagues outside of the UK for talent. One is the work permit but I read somewhere that City's 3rd choice goalkeeper is Scott Carlson. Scott is English and came through the academy system.

Not sure what the exact rule is but there must be a minimum number of players in the Premier League squad of 25 who have come through the system. So Scott is one of their 25, has hardly played, collected a medal being part of the squad and allows City to comply with the rules (on this at least).

Having collected 16- to 19-year-olds from all over Europe would not solve our problem.

I do think Branthwaite benefitted enormously from his time in the Netherlands. Higher quality play when he was perhaps not good enough for the Premier League and maybe too good for the Championship if he had spent that year in England. And every chance in the latter of being targeted.

We do not seem to take advantage of the tier 2 leagues in Europe to send out players on loan. Spain, France, Germany, Italy and England all have multiple teams in the Champions League so forget them – but pick those leagues who have one or at most two places and send the youngsters out on loan to them. If they cannot make it there, then they will not make it in the Premier League.

Danny O’Neill
69 Posted 05/06/2024 at 23:06:16
Barry, be careful, you're starting to sound like me!
Mike Gaynes
70 Posted 05/06/2024 at 23:12:43
Brian #57, you keep posting various versions of this:

"...and even when he came back Dyche still preffered Michael Keane."

It is simply not true.

Keane played the first two games of the season. Two. Jarrad was on the bench for both but, before the Fulham game, he was described as "recovering from a slight knock" at the Euros.

And after those first two games, he played every minute of the season except for his yellow card suspension and being subbed off in the Chelsea disaster.

Dyche clearly, obviously preferred him.

Denver Daniels
71 Posted 05/06/2024 at 23:12:45

I guess another way of putting it is, can this Everton team carry an attacking midfielder whose only job is creating and controlling the tempo?

Similar to an old-school playmaker I guess. And have other players "carry his water". Or have those days gone for good? Hence talents like Kieran Dowell falling by the wayside.

Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 05/06/2024 at 23:23:32
Denver #71,

There are still managers who will welcome such a player but, generally speaking, you won't see many Pirlo-style conductors anymore. Today, even the most extravagant midfield prima donnas are expected to put in their defensive work. De Bruyne averages more than a tackle a game. So does Ødegaard.

Regarding Dowell, I would just say that, if you want your mates to carry your water, you'd better be showering them with scoring changes. Dowell never did. He's not a "talent"... just a guy with some sparkly skills who can't really impact a game very often.

Kieran Kinsella
73 Posted 06/06/2024 at 00:41:17
Robert Tressell,

A frustration for me regarding Liverpool was a few years back they sold Jordan Ibe for £15 million. Who, now still in his 20s, has been released by Ebbsfleet in the Conference.

And then there was Brewster for £23 million. So £40 million for one mediocre and one poor player with at the time 20 appearances between them.

In contrast, we have Tom Davies with 100 plus appearances and couldn't give him away. Likewise Jonjoe Kenny left on a free, Pennington also. Neither were world beaters but they're both playing regularly at higher levels than their contemporary Ibe.

I just think we are not very good at marketing youngsters whilst also paying exorbitant wages to others of similar ability, eg, Holgate who we can never offload. Liverpool would have sold someone like Dobbin after a few sub appearances. We hang onto him, don't use him, and then eventually will see him leave on a free, like Davies, Kenny, Pennington etc.

Dupont Koo
74 Posted 06/06/2024 at 01:49:13
Kieran, very well said. Let's see if Thelwell, after talking the talk on "astute trading", can really walk the walk in making us better in monetizing young prospects to replenish our coffer.
Christine Foster
75 Posted 06/06/2024 at 05:17:23
Further to Barry's post, I think the gap between the haves and have-nots is immense. In fact, you could say the Top 6 who are making money are in a league of their own, quality-wise. That does not mean they cannot be beaten but, to do so, the lesser teams have to employ more robust tactics where skill is not enough without sheer physicality.

Generally speaking, the more you can afford, the better you get. That the rules are skewed in favour of those already at the top table just adds to the mix. The rest of us substitute a modicum of skill for more direct or physical tactics. Football has forever been such but not to this degree.

Can you imagine getting promoted from also-rans in the Premier League to the Top Six? You would have to replace half your team with more skill and spend a lot more dosh. Buying your way in is no longer allowed, Chelsea and Newcastle are trying but will likely now fall foul of PSR (if it still exists). Everton failed spectacularly and are still paying the price 5 years on.

You either lift the PSR rules and have open slather, ditch the Premier League, or ditch the Top Six... breaking into the money has too many barriers to entry.

Danny O’Neill
76 Posted 06/06/2024 at 05:47:17
I'll give you Cole Palmer, Brian. Is he a regular starter? Rico Lewis is from Bury. To my point, it's regional recruitment as well as international. I was thinking. I know I shouldn't.

Over the years, we've had Colin Harvey. Brian Labone, Joe Royle, Peter Reid, Dave Watson, Wayne Rooney, Tony Hibbert and more recently Anthony Gordon.

When you look back at a lot of our most famous players, a lot of them have come from all parts of the country and the globe.

I'll repeat myself on two counts: I would love to see us bring in more local / regional players through the youth system.

But really I don't care where they come from. John Stones, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Jarrad Branthwaite are testimony to that. Not forgetting Seamus Coleman.

I've no doubt many of you could rattle off more.

Ian Bennett
77 Posted 06/06/2024 at 07:06:53
I think the club need to make earlier decisions on moving players on.

Anthony Gordon, Jack Rodwell, players of the ilk were fast-tracked through the system. The majority are then played through to the end of their contracts.

Lewis Warrington, Isaac Price etc should have had a decision a year earlier. It was obvious they weren't at the Gordon level and, being blunt, if you're not at that level, it's unlikely you're going to make it.

Clear the space for the next group to step up.

Move them on for fees, percentage of next sale and sensible buy-back clauses, but at least make a decision on them. For most players, that last year is detrimental, as similar lower-league players have accumulated way more game experience in any case. Tough, buy that's professional football.

Yes, you get an exception like Osman, but that's 20 years ago – and a buy-back option could solve for.

Sam Hoare
78 Posted 06/06/2024 at 07:19:26
Kieran, I think it's just a much better shop window. Plus attacking players are more expensive.

Jordan Ibe at that time had played a handful of games in a pretty strong Liverpool team as well as scoring 4 goals in 6 games for the England U19s. He then had a decent loan at Derby where he bagged 5 goals from the wing. All before he was 20.

Liverpool rightly or wrongly have a reputation for developing good players and he looked like the next star off the block.

Bournemouth overpaid but it's the equivalent to shopping in Harrods instead of Aldi.

That being said, we probably did hang on too long to Tom Davies. After his emergence and 'that' goal, there were rumours of Newcastle etc wanting him for £20M. No idea if there was substance in there but, if we had sold him at that time, there may have been an uproar as many were hailing him as the next big thing.

Part of me was wondering, if we turn down large bids for Branthwaite this summer, might we live to regret that? I don't see his form dropping off next season but it's obviously difficult to know with younger players.

Dave Cashen
79 Posted 06/06/2024 at 08:11:05
You're right of course, Sam.

You can never tell how a player will react to moving for a big fee, or indeed staying after being offered a lucrative contract.

Rodwell and Barkley both went for £15M and simply sunk without trace – although Ross has re-emerged recently.

As you say; Davies could have commanded a fee at one stage, but he had spent virtually 2 years battling injuries before he left and, even if he was top notch, most clubs would have been reluctant to buy a player with his injury record. Not hard to see why; he's spent most of this season on the treatment table.

I think the best example of all would be Mason Holgate. He went through a spell playing brilliantly for Carlo. Form which began to attract interest from the big boys. Carlo did what we all wanted him to do at the time. He protected his "asset" and offered the guy he called Everton's future captain a long lucrative contract. I don't think Holgate played another decent game after that. He seemed to think he had already made it and lost every ounce of focus.

Twist or stick? The stakes are so high. If Branthwaite stays and becomes injury-prone, we will all be wishing we had sold him. If we sell him and his form dips like the others, we will all be glad we sold him.

When it comes to young players, I sometimes think luck plays more of a part than judgement.

Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 06/06/2024 at 09:59:23
Jonjoe Kenny was wanted by Burnley, not sure if Dyche was still manager there. Everton wanted more money than Burnley were prepared to pay. When Kenny's contract was up, he was offered a new one by Everton; he preferred to take his chances elsewhere.

Like Jonjoe explained in the Everton programme at the end of last season, he had lived a boyhood Evertonian's dream — playing for the club he loved and still does.

He also echoed what I wrote about him a few times on here, he never ever played more than six games on the run for Everton, even when he had a good spell.

I don't think he mentioned he played under five or six different managers in a very poor defence with older players who did little to help him — that last sentence is mine, not Jonjoe's.

He is now doing well in Germany but still looks to see how his team is doing every week, like Evertonians do no matter where they are.

I think Tom Davies was also offered a new contract but preferred to go to Sheffield Utd getting a 3-year contract and a signing-on fee.

Yes, I think luck has a big part of how you get on in football as well as life — others will cling on to the very luxurious and stupid contracts they were offered to the last minute of those contracts even though they are millionaires — greedy bastards… or just squirrelling their nuts!

Brian Harrison
81 Posted 06/06/2024 at 10:20:11
I know that having so many managerial changes we have had since Moshiri took over hasnt helped, but we have had 3 DOFs and still our academy is not fit for purpose. Chelsea have used their academy system as a cash machine which has been very beneficial, I think they have brought in young players from around the world and not so much developing their local talent Those not deemed good enough for their first team were either sold or loaned out until they were deemed good enough. While the Man Utd academy system was always used to produce good young players for the first team, yes of course they sold young players on but their main aim was always to find youngsters good enough for the first team. For me they much more than any other top club produce more home grown talent that end up playing in their first team. Also its much harder for young players to break into teams that are competing at the top of the league.
I think its quite evident to everybody that both recruitment and coaching needs to dramatically improve, and while that is more for our DOF to address than the first team manager, a complete overhaul is definitely needed.
Karl Meighan
82 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:44:16
I truly hope any player released by Everton goes on to make a career for themselves playing football. I just hope it doesn't cost us on the pitch or they are not sold by another club for huge profit.

To be fair, it's like signing players: some will never reach the levels we hope. Not too many have gone on to better things, the two centre-backs who both won World Cups never really stood out whilst wearing our shirt, I think one only played once in the first team?

Clubs who have the right people in place do seem to produce and improve young players they find and scout more often than not.

I would prefer it at Everton if we concentrated more on individuals who the coaches really believe can become Everton first-team players and improve us. Team bonding and winning minor trophies at U21 level with a decent team but no stand-out players is not the way I want to see us operating.

Of course every club wants top young talent and it's not easy, but that's why the club pays people.

Derek Taylor
83 Posted 06/06/2024 at 15:46:13
With money so tight, I suspect the plan is to name 3/4 young goalies on the bench so that with Pickford's fitness record none of them will ever get as much as appearance money !
Shrewd cookie our Dyche !
Robert Tressell
84 Posted 06/06/2024 at 20:55:53
Quite interesting to raise the careers of Davies and Kenny. For those who criticise Dyche's position on youth, it is a good observation that he was very keen on Kenny a few seasons ago and would have bought him but I think we turned down the £5M offer.

It is a shame that we didn't have stability under Dyche when Davies and Kenny were coming through – they might both have kicked on. Sadly, I don't think Kenny is doing well, Dave, facing another season in Bundesliga 2 after failing to get promoted with Hertha Berlin.

Kieran # 73, it gets worse - about £125M worse in the last few years...

- Williams £17M
- Grujic £7M
- Grabara £5M
- Millar £1M
- Wilson £12M
- Awoniyi £5M
- Brewster £23M
- Hoever £7M
- Kane £1M
- Ejaria £3M
- Kent £6M
- Camacho £3M
- Solanke £19M
- Ward £15M
- Stewart £4M
- Ibe £15M
- Canos £2M

But these players, though they haven't all kicked on or succeeded, were more or less worth their fee at the time.

The difference between their youth and ours is youth international appearances, very high standard loans, a smattering of first-team appearances in the Premier League and / or cup competitions and the fact they'd been recruited into the academy already (in the vast majority of cases above).

I guess with all those sales, you could also ask why didn't Klopp do what many fans are asking of Dyche and trust the youth products?

Robert Tressell
85 Posted 06/06/2024 at 21:13:06
I realise belatedly that the more relevant information is who the RS sell, like us, for nowt.

The interesting thing (to me) is that there are quite a lot in this category. For example:

- Clarkson
- Larouci
- Chirivella
- Rossiter
- Sinclair
- Brannagan
- Dhanda

All of these players showed decent promise in the RS academy and or a lower level loan – but all left for free. Not unlike comparable players in our academy.

The noticeable thing though is that the RS are trading a much higher volume of youth players than us. The amount of players they buy at U15 to U18 level is very high indeed - creating a loan army across the domestic leagues and Europe. And in a lot of cases, they are spending more (because they can) on these 15- to 18-year-olds than we are when we buy.

I am pretty sure Thelwell recognises all of this (and plenty more besides) and this is why (a) we're stepping up our youth academy recruitment again, and (b) we've appointed Vaughan and others to oversee youth development. Hope that's the case anyway.

Dave Abrahams
86 Posted 06/06/2024 at 21:43:58
Robert (84),

I've heard Jonjoe Kenny is enjoying his time in Germany.

He's one player in a squad of many so he can't get them promoted on his own!!

Kieran Kinsella
87 Posted 06/06/2024 at 21:56:10

Is he getting paid though? You know 777 partners own Hertha Berlin.

Danny O’Neill
88 Posted 06/06/2024 at 21:58:26
Robert, Dave,

Jonjo done well when I watched him in Germany.

Apart from the time he got roasted by a very good RB Leipzig team.

The continent could be an option for Lewis Warrington to develop and learn. Different styles of play, different coaching.

It certainly seems to have benefitted Branthwaite.

Tony Abrahams
89 Posted 06/06/2024 at 22:10:50
Highest attendance for Hertha Berlin last season was over 66000, and they have had an average attendance of just over 50000 fans, which is incredible for the German second division.

Jonjoe Kenny, has had a very good season, mostly playing higher up the pitch as a wingback, and still has a year left on his contract, which is still getting paid, even in the close season. What a life these footballers have!

Danny’s team, Schalke came tenth, and had an average attendance of over 61500.incredible👏👏

Danny O’Neill
90 Posted 06/06/2024 at 22:29:27
Schalke used him mostly as a wingback Tony. He seemed more comfortable in that position.

They recovered well this season.

For those who haven't been, I would recommend going to watch a Bundesliga match to anyone.

The atmosphere is electric. The supporters are mad and never stop!!

And you can go and get a drink and food whenever you want, not just at half time. And take it all back to your seat. Even I get served!!

Martin Farrington
91 Posted 07/06/2024 at 09:42:59
Thanks to those mentioning me. I appreciate all comments. I wrote a reply covering many points raised but it became more like a yawn yawn thesis.

What this thread highlights is a consensus from ToffeeWebbers: Everton's academy is not fit for purpose.

I do not blame the lads who have gained a place there. It must be a dream come true. However, when statistically less than 5% (probably nearer 1%) make the grade or find a career as a footballer, that is worrying for us as Evertonians and heartbreaking for kids who have spent their formative years in an elite system that has no purpose outside of football.

Re Gordon - he was cast out of Liverpool's academy. That's how we got him at aged 11 (I think). I saw him several times, mostly for England. He didn't make that many academy appearances.

He had talent. He was exciting in phases. You wouldn't see him involved for ages and then, bang, you wondered why he wasn't a more pivotal figure from a team perspective. He was clearly better than the others.

For England he was good but light. Lost the ball a bit but also was dangerous creating chances. He needed a decent coach.

I never saw Evans… Dowell in fits and starts. I watched him at Forest and also once or twice in-between loans. He looked like he might be better than Tom Davies and I so wanted him to succeed. Academy-wise he was okay, not illuminating.

I saw Gomez in an academy match and he was not great. It's as if the matches are a chore and beneath them. The step up improved Dowell at Championship Forest but he did have the odd stinker.

There are tough rules in place regarding "buying" or recruiting EU & non-EU youngsters outside of the UK. It seems to not affect Liverpool and other big clubs because they all have more than a few. How? I have no idea…

As for Dyche, he has to build a sturdy team around what he has at his disposal… which we all know isn't much but he has done a fantastic job. Maybe not for purists but, for a financially bankrupt relegation regular team of little flair, no one can argue his achievements. Factor in the hatred from the Premier League and the unjustified points theft as well.

Thelwell needs to rip up the EFC Guide to Running The Academy and become more proactive, pioneering. For a start, get some arses out looking at youth football outside of FA-approved venues.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Dave Abrahams
92 Posted 07/06/2024 at 10:11:24
Martin (91),

Never question your posts, keep sending them I'm positive I'm not the only one who enjoys reading them. Loads of common sense @(91).

Danny O’Neill
93 Posted 07/06/2024 at 10:21:17
Really good read that Martin and resonates with a lot of how I think to a degree. I'm well documented on my views on the academy system, so I won't repeat myself.

I like your comment on ripping up the academy system. It needs reviewing in my opinion.

Not sure about the EU thing. Just like in other walks of life, we still do business with the EU and vice-versa.

Robert Tressell
94 Posted 07/06/2024 at 10:39:18
I agree with all of that, too, Martin – and to me a lot of this is not just about Everton but about serving the community fan base by giving local youngsters the best chance of becoming a top class player.

The only thing, as Danny mentions, is the situation with the EU etc. It really isn't difficult to sign talented EU youth players – as evidenced by the high volume from many different countries in various academies and teams (our own Sheriff and Ebere are Dutch and German respectively, I believe). These are not just the stars but bog standard players too in the Championship.

As for non-EU, that's possibly become even easier since Brexit (as it has in many walks of life). Again, you only need to look at other UK academies and teams to see high volumes of young players from South America, USA, Korea etc.

Basically, if a player is of sufficient talent to be of interest to us, it is very likely we'll be able to sign them.

Michael Kenrick
95 Posted 07/06/2024 at 15:34:54
Martin, you said of Gordon:

"He didn't make that many academy appearances."

That can be a good sign — certainly was for Rooney who rocketed through. Here's what I wrote previously about Gordon's stint in the Academy teams:

He went on an impressive goalscoring run for Everton's Under-18s in the opening few months of the 2017-18 season that brought him to the attention of the senior team management and he became the first player to be born in the 21st Century to play for Everton's first team when, aged 16 years, 286 days, Gordon came on as a substitute in the Europa League group stage dead rubber against Apollon Limassol in Cyprus in December 2017.

It made him the sixth youngest player to ever play for Everton's first team and he continued his goalscoring at U18 level but, as the season progressed, a niggling knee problem required surgery in March 2018 that ended his season early and his recovery from this would affect his availability the following season.

Gordon had to reacclimatise in both the U18s and U23s after that, being named more times as a substitute for the latter team as he made the transition. With rumours of interest from Arsenal and the Bundesliga, Everton made sure of the youngster's future at the club by presenting him with a 4-year professional contract, signed in March 2019.

He continued to dazzle for the second string, scoring some impressive goals and providing assists for team-mates, helping the U23s win Premier League 2 and the Premier League Cup in 2018-19. The following season was another good one for the Scouser who was now getting onto the bench for a handful of senior Premier League games before coming on as sub against West Ham and Chelsea under new boss Carlo Ancelotti until the 2019-20 campaign was halted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Len Hawkins
97 Posted 08/06/2024 at 13:16:59
I agree with Colin at #23.

Our Academy was/is nothing more than a Kenwright gift to past-it ex-players, some of whom weren't even a stand-out among Evertonians. I hope whoever takes over the club rids it of the comfy-job-for-life attitude and demands only the best from whatever Everton FC do.

The home for retired pit ponies should be sent to Room 101.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb