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Callum Connolly 33

Connolly has been an Academy player with Everton since the age of 9, and despite being eligible to play for Bulgaria, he chose to play for England, being capped at Under-17 and Under-18 levels. He signed his first professional contract with Everton in July 2015, running through the end of the 2016-17 season.

Barnsley signed the teenage defender on a one-month loan deal in March 2016. The 18-year-old was scheduled to stay with the League One play-off hopefuls until Sunday 3 April, the day of their Johnstone's Paint Trophy final meeting with Oxford United at Wembley.

"Callum is exactly the type of player we were looking for," said caretaker head coach Paul Heckingbottom. "We're excited to have him here. I'm sure he will help our cause. We have a good relationship with Everton," added Heckingbottom. "They have entrusted us with one of their highly-rated youngsters. We're both confident that this is the perfect environment for him to begin his professional career."

Barnsley, who had Connolly's services for five League One games, are currently seventh in the table, with 12 games of the season left.Connolly, who can play in either full-back position or in midfield, is currently tied to Everton until the summer of 2017.

Callum Connolly was named on the subs bench for the Premier League clash with Southampton at Goodison Park in April 2016, and acquitted himself well as a second-half substitute for Seamus Coleman in Everton's injury-hit defence. There was great expectation that he would also play in the derby the following Wednesday but Roberto Martinez went light on defenders as the Blues crashed to an ignominious 4-0 defeat... and for the Wembley FA Cup Semi-Final showpiece against Man Utd, his place on the bench was taken up by Matthew Pennington. 

He would take his place on the bench as an unused sub in a couple more Premier League games before the season ended with the dismissal of manager Roberto Martinez prior to a new era being ushered in at Goodison Park under Ronald Koeman. But Connolly's work under Koeman was delayed when he was called up to England's Under-19 squad for their Euros campaign in Germany, only for him to return early with an injury after turning his ankle heavily against France. That didn't stop him accepting a new 3-year deal at Everton in July 2016.

But he would not be involved in senior games. A solid first half of the season in the U23s saw him go out on loan at Wigan Athletic for the second half, before heading on to South Korea with four other young Evertonians who formed the core of the very impressive England side that would go all the way and win the U20 World Cup Final.

A breakthrough into the Everton first team would have to wait, however, as Ronald Koeman's 3-year 'project' required the influx of proven players that would crowd out the midfield selection options. In September 2017, after starting with the Under-23s, Connolly was farmed out on loan to Ipswich Town for the season, surrendering his shirt number (33) to Joel Robles.

The young Evertonian loanee arrived at Portman Road at the end of the summer transfer window as a back-up right back who could also play in the middle of defence or in midfield, but he  become a regular fixture in the Ipswich Town engine room. Connolly's tenacity and all-action approach had him hoping he could  be viewed as a full-time central midfielder.

"I hope so," Connolly said when asked if he saw himself as a central midfielder now. "I'm enjoying myself in midfield and I just want to get more and more experience in there.

"I've been a versatile player, but I'm enjoying playing in midfield and I just need more games there to really learn the position and learn the trade in there.

Ipswich Manager Mick McCarthy described Connolly as a model professional, with the midfielder believing his approach to his career off the pitch, which includes a regular diet of salmon and pasta, had played a big role in his development on it.

But youngster has revealed that he has been surprised by the lack of contact and support he has had from Everton during the course of loan spell. "'I've had contact with Everton, but not as much as I expected,� Connolly said, as quoted by the Ipswich Star.

"I think they've just let me get on with my football, there hasn't been as much support as I've wanted to be honest, but obviously it's a man's game and I'm learning the game on my own.

"When there are not that many people around you supporting you, it can be tough, but that's when you come into your own; I feel like I am growing up."

To round off the season, Connolly was selected as part of the Everton retinue who would help England's Under-21s win the Toulon Tournament for the third time in succession, a factor no doubt in the club agreeing a 3-year contract extension in August 2018. That put him in a good position to join the senior squad for their pre-season training camp in Austria.

The 20-year-old had hoped to use the pre-season to convince new Everton manager Marco Silva that he was ready to push for a place in the first team, briefly reclaiming the No 33 shirt since Joel Robles had left the club. But the versatile defender wasn't quite able to do that; he joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan, his No 33 shirt being picked up by new third-choice goalkeeper, Joao Virginia.

At Wigan,  he links up with his Under-23s team-mate, Antonee Robinson. This comes two seasons after his first temporary spell there where he made 17 league appearances. But this time he struggled to settle at the DW Stadium, making just 9  starts in all competitions, and Everton recalled him on transfer deadline day in Januaryy 2019, before sending him out on loan to continue his progression with Bolton Wanderers, who were struggling near the bottom of the Championship.

Connolly is a versatile player who can slot in anywhere across the defence and in central midfield, and has been getting more games for England at Under-21 level.


Squad number 33
Position Midfielder
Nationality England
Born Liverpool
Date of birth 23 September 1997
Height 6'-1" (1.85 m)
Joined 6 July 2015
Joined from Everton Academy
Signed by Roberto Martinez
Transfer fee No fee
Contract duration 2  + 3 + 3 years
Contract expires June 2021
Debut (sub) v Southampton (h)
16 April 2016
Previous Clubs None
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Everton Career

Season Squad No. League Apps (sub) League Goals Cup Apps (sub) Cup Goals Total Apps (sub) Total Goals
0 (1)
0 (0)
0 (1)
33 +
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
2017-18  * 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
2018-19 $ 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (0) 0
  Totals 0 (1) 0 0 (0) 0 0 (1) 0
+ On loan at Wigan Athletic
* On Season-long loan at Ipswich Town
$ On loan at Wigan Athletic, then Bolton Wanderers

Loan Spells

Season Team League
2015-16 Barnsley 3 (0) 0 (0) 0 0
2016-17 Wigan Athletic 14 (3) 1 (0) 2 0
2017-18 Ipswich Town 29 (5) 1 (0) 4  0
2018-19 Wigan Athletic 7 (10) 2 (0) 1 0
2018-19 Bolton Wanderers 15 (1) 0 (0) 2 0

Academy U21/U23 Career

Season Team League Apps Cup Apps League Goals Cup Goals
2013-14 Under-21s 0 (1) 0 (0) 0 0
2014-15 Under-21s 13 (1) 1 (3) 1 0
2015-16 Under-21s 18 (0) 7 (1) 4 3
2016-17 Under-23s 12 (0) 3 (0) 1 1
2017-18 Under-23s 3 (0) 1 (0) 0 0
2018-19 Under-23s 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 0

Academy U18 Career

Season Team League Apps Cup Apps League Goals Cup Goals
2013-14 Under-18s __ (_) 0 (1) 0 0
2014-15 Under-18s 15 (0) 2 (0) 5 0

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