Henen being groomed for the long term

by | 17/09/2015  13 Comments  [Jump to last]

David Unsworth and Roberto Martinez have been speaking about the progress being made by David Henen, a player whom both feel has a bright future now that he is adapting to the demands of the English game.

The 19-year-old striker has been with the club for well over a year now, first on an extended trial last summer and then as a season-long loanee in the Under-21s setup before he was signed on a permanent basis this summer from Olympiacos.

In that time, he has made steady progress settling into a more patient development programme than perhaps he, as a precocious talent, felt he needed following his loan spell with Monaco in 2013-14 and both managers feel he has a good chance of knocking in the door of the first team in the coming months.

Indeed, Henen might have been involved with the senior side during pre-season were it not for a couple of injury lay-offs this year, one which temporarily ended his 2014-15 season and the other which affected his pre-season.

"[H]e’s physically fit now,” his U21s boss Unsworth told the Liverpool Echo. “When he came he was breaking down all the time so he’s done an awful lot of work on the training ground and in the gym to compete.

“It is a totally different test to what he had been used to... Now, he’s fine and has got to grips with that side of our game.

“Tactically as well, he’s got the grips with it and the responsibilities he has without the ball. He knows he can’t be someone who just plays with the ball.

“His work-rate is unbelievable, when we look back at games and get the stats back, he is right up there. We are just looking for consistency now and that end product on a consistent basis."

Martinez concurred with Unsworth, acknowledging that the Belgian U18 international's injuries have hampered his progress and heightened the need for him to build up his strength in the gym over the last few months.

“David now is getting back to match fitness," the Catalan said. “He hasn’t been able to play 90 minutes, he picked up a really disappointing injury which set him back in pre-season, because I expected him to be involved a little bit more with the first-team squad.

“But it’s great to see him back working towards full fitness."

 

Reader Comments (13)

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Duncan McDine
1 Posted 17/09/2015 at 07:34:21
I'd completely forgotten about this lad! Our success rate with developing young players into real assets (playing-wise and for sell-on value) is impressive, but even still, we haven't seen a striker come through the ranks for a long time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this one.
Paul Cherrington
3 Posted 17/09/2015 at 09:29:18
Keeping everything crossed too — this lad looks pretty good to me and has pace to burn which is always handy in any team. Looks like he knows where the goal is too and can run at people so he will be exciting to watch.
Richard Reeves
4 Posted 17/09/2015 at 10:50:34
It would be great to see him in the first team. I've always thought his best position is where Mirallas and Deulofeu play whenever I've seen him, left or right.

I hope he makes it because he's got bags of talent and he'll be another player everyone will be after, not that we need the interest but it tells everyone the manager is assembling a squad of the finest youngsters.

If Martinez has signed them, they've got a good chance of making it... which, apart from his outstanding ability, is why I think Holgate will make it. And as we've seen with Galloway... but I think the best of the bunch is homegrown in Ledson.

Scott Goin
5 Posted 17/09/2015 at 15:04:02
It's good to hear about his great work rate. That's not something you can teach. You either have that drive in your heart or you don't.

I have no idea what this guy is like as a footballer. I hope we get to see him during a cup match or something. We've heard a bit of hype surrounding the kid but his transfer fee wasn't that high so it's hard to know what his true skill level and potential is.

Dave Roberts
6 Posted 17/09/2015 at 16:56:35
Is it really necessary to keep referring to Martinez as 'the Catalan'? We all know he is Spanish and what part of Spain he comes from. Accordingly it is a meaningless label which informs us of nothing and when the only label that matters is Manager of Everton Football Club.
Eugene Kearney
7 Posted 17/09/2015 at 19:30:56
I was wondering what had happened to this fella.....there was a lot of hype at the time of his arrival (that sort of nearly didn't happen, I think).

I think Martinez is shaping the 2017-18 season first team with all these younger lads, and the likes of Seamus Coleman, Tom Cleverley and James McCarthy will be their wiser, "older" mentors....

Anthony Dwyer
8 Posted 18/09/2015 at 00:49:06
Henen looks another promising young lad, which is great news. Most of our talented youngsters are defensive minded apart from Barkley an Deulofeu so it's good news in that respect.

It really would be something quite special in this day and age if we could put together a team that can really hold its own and push for them Champions League places. Here's to dreaming of a Golden Generation.

Karl Masters
9 Posted 18/09/2015 at 01:32:54
Dave, I'm sure if you went to Catalonia you would find the vast majority of inhabitants would class themselves as Catalan and not Spanish.

Catalonia has been seeking independence from Spain like the Basques for many years now. It's a little like the Scots in the UK.

It is one of the prime reasons that Barcelona are so much more to Catalans than just a football club. They are seen as representing defiance to Madrid and explains their antipathy to Real (royal) Madrid.

So referring to our Manager as a Catalan is entirely appropriate. Just thought you'd like to know!

Kieran Kinsella
10 Posted 18/09/2015 at 03:22:29
In terms of flow, it mixes things up a bit when they refer to him by something other than his name. If you have a long article it gets a bit repetitive if you limit yourself to "Roberto said" "Martinez said" "he said" or "The Everton manager said." Calling him "the Catalan" adds an extra option which makes for a better read.
Paul Cherrington
11 Posted 18/09/2015 at 10:24:25
Ledson is a real mystery to me; everyone seems to rate him yet he still can't get his break into the first team. I know his position doesn't help as McCarthy and Barry will always play if fit, but it seems such a shame if he doesn't get his chance.
Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 18/09/2015 at 17:39:53
Paul (10) Ryan Ledson is not getting a regular game in the U21s, it's strange to a lot of supporters, because he is a very good player.
Peter Gorman
13 Posted 18/09/2015 at 17:46:55
Paul (10), Ledson is an 18-year-old kid. No way is he getting in the team ahead of McCarthy or Barry. The next stage in his development is a loan, like his peer Jonjoe Kenny at Wigan.

Every now and again, we get these shouts to have Ledson in the first team which just bemuse the hell out of me. He has a load of potential but he needs experience not unrealistic pressure.

Mike Allison
14 Posted 19/09/2015 at 09:40:30
In that central midfield position, it would be very rare for a player that young to be thrown in. I'm not expecting much of Ledson in the first team this year or next. He's ahead of the game to be so involved in the Under-21s.

Also, from what little I have seen, he's fond of a rash tackle or two, so a little maturation would seem to be necessary.

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