Liam Walsh returns from Birmingham loan

Sunday, 12 November, 2017 0comments  |  Jump to last

Updated Liam Walsh is back at Finch Farm from his loan spell at Birmingham City.

The midfielder joined the Championship club for what was an initial six-month loan on transfer deadline day, a move that was seen as an important step in his development and on the path to breaking into the Toffees' first team.

However, Walsh has seen his opportunities severely restricted since Harry Redknapp was replaced by Steve Cotterill at St Andrew's and it was felt that he was better served coming home to play for Everton U23s to maintain his match fitness.

It is not clear whether he will return to Birmingham before the terms of his loan expire in January but the consensus is that it's unlikely if an article in the Birmingham Mail is any indication.

They posit that Walsh wasn't given enough of an opportunity to impress and that he showed the most promise in the one match where he was given significant playing time, that being in Redknapp's last match in charge, a 3-1 defeat to Preston, where he kept his composure while "all around him crumbled".

They also suggest that Walsh's set-piece deliveries and "composure on the ball" are qualities that the Midlands club could really use at the moment as they languish in the bottom three with 16 games played.

In his presser on Thursday, Steve Cotterill confirmed that, with a host of central midfield players available to him, he feels Walsh returning to Goodison is the best option for all concerned at this time.

"He wasn't going to be ahead of the players already in there (central midfield). We'd had a chat after the first week or two and I'd said just give me a little bit of time to look at it.

"And then when I think he wasn't going to get a game there were probably a few more conversations on whether he should go back or not.

"He couldn't go back (as a first team player) until the window, but he'd prefer to go back and play with the 23s for Everton, rather than play in our 23s.

"He's also back at home then, which I think was also another thing for him a bit as well.

"I've got nothing but good things to say about him. He's a great kid who had a lovely smile on his face every day he came in.

"He can go back but he will still be available for us if all of a sudden we're at a stage where we needed somebody to play.

"There was no animosity either way, but I didn't see him getting in ahead of what we had, so it was a clean decision.

"There will be more decisions to make like that as well going forward," continued Cotterill. "There will be other decisions made at the right times and I thought that that one was probably best for Liam at that moment in time."