Dowell looking for his chance at Everton

Sunday, 25 March, 2018 43comments  |  Jump to most recent

Kieran Dowell says he would "love" the opportunity to make the step at Everton but would consider returning to Nottingham Forest on loan for next season.

The 20-year-old midfielder has spent this season at the City Ground furthering his development having shone at Under-18 and Under-21 level for the Blues.

He made a dream start in the Midlands, too, attracting plaudits from his manager and Championship observers and the adoration of Forest fans and has, in all, notched nine goals in 31 league appearances, including a hat-trick against Hull City last October and weighed in with a number of assists.

Since helping Forest into the fourth round of the FA Cup (where they lost, coincidentally, to Hull) at the expense of Arsenal in one of the highlights of the third round, Dowell's form has gone off the boil somewhat following managerial change at the club.

Former Middlesbrough manager, Aitor Karanka, was brought in to replace Mark Warburton and Dowell hasn't yet been able to replicate his sparkling form from earlier in the campaign playing in a wider role under the new boss.

Nevertheless, having won the Under-20 World Cup with England last summer, the Ormskirk-born player is now part of his country's Under-21s set-up and played in yesterday's 2-1 win over Romania where he impressed manager Aidy Boothroyd.

"He was excellent," Boothroyd said. "In the last four months, since I last seen him, he's filled out a little bit, and looks more mature.

“I know he's been playing some great stuff for Forest.

There are also high hopes at Finch Farm that Dowell can be the next player off Everton's impressive Academy production line, with supporters hopeful he can make the breakthrough into the first team next season.

A brilliant striker of the ball from distance with great movement and an eye for a pass, he has long been seen as future Toffees star in the making but much may depend on who is in charge at Goodison over the close season.

“I'll see what happens in the summer,” he says in the Nottingham Post.

“Obviously, if I'm in Everton's plans then I'd love it, but if not I wouldn't rule out [returning to Nottingham Forest].”


Reader Comments (43)

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

Paul Welsby
1 Posted 25/03/2018 at 16:19:47
Great left peg, so you will probably be loaned out next season?
Jim Bennings
2 Posted 25/03/2018 at 16:54:49
Before we get carried away and come out with statements of “we should build a team around him” we need to calm down and take a look at the struggles that Davies has had this season and, regardless of what eternally optimistic fans say, most games have been a big struggle for Tom Davies this season.

Dowell has looked a useful prospect on loan at Nottingham Forest and he's shown he can do it at that level to some extent, although Forest fans have said he needs to go looking for the ball more often; maybe he might have another spell there next season and improve again?

I'm all for the lads going out on loan, be it the Championship or elsewhere ,as we can see if they have what it takes mentally to cut it in a cut-throat league.

Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 25/03/2018 at 17:31:05
Jim (#2), a couple of things... first, I haven't seen a single post here calling for us to build a team around Dowell. Not one.

And second, Davies's struggles are irrelevant to Dowell. Every player progresses differently, and these two players couldn't be more different. One is artisan, the other artist. Davies is all about aggression. Dowell, as you noted, lets the game come to him.

I would expect Dowell to get a chance to impress in summer training and the early-season friendlies. We can only hope that it's a new manager who makes the decision on his future.

John Raftery
4 Posted 25/03/2018 at 17:56:02
'He's filled out a little bit'. Does that mean Kieran has been eating too many pies or has he been lifting weights? Either way is there a link with him losing his form and place at Forest in recent weeks?

He seems a natural fit for the Number 10 role but as we know he has Klaassen and Sigurdsson in front of him. I hope he gets a chance in pre-season but perhaps he is being realistic that his best opportunity to progress next season might be at Forest.

Phil Walling
5 Posted 25/03/2018 at 18:56:11
I very much suspect his time has come and gone at Everton. He's shone pre-season under a couple of managers and then been shipped out. With Sam likely to be announced as a permanent fixture, I can't see him being any more enamoured with so many other No 10s to accommodate
Kim Vivian
6 Posted 25/03/2018 at 19:36:36
Phil - you really are a little ray of sunshine aren't you?
Jon Withey
7 Posted 25/03/2018 at 19:44:46
Shame if we can't coach him to the next level as he has a lot of class.

With Lingard, Man Utd have had patience and got a decent squad player – don't see why we can't do the same with young players like Dowell.

John Dean
8 Posted 25/03/2018 at 19:48:06
He scored most of his goals for our U23 side from outside the box, including one memorable hat-trick, and I much admire his ability for instant, short forward passes into space.

Forest fans are currently unhappy that he gives the ball away too much. Yosemite Sam won't like that but he and Lookman would make a dangerous combination.

Mike Allison
9 Posted 25/03/2018 at 20:09:53
I’m desperate for Dowell to make it with Everton. He’s such a classy player, the type you love to watch. I’m also of the school that believes success with players you’ve developed yourself is more meaningful than simply splurging squillions on guys who wouldn’t have given your club a second thought if it wasn’t for the money.
Tony Everan
10 Posted 25/03/2018 at 20:44:53
He's still very young and learning his trade. It can only be a good thing to getting first team experience with Forest. In the main he has done very well for a boy in a league full of yard dogs.

He has a blessing of natural ability and he can strike the ball with his left foot sublimely. If he can contribute more to the team, his goals can make the difference in tight games. Forest fans say he can go missing in games, but really it isn't surprising considering his youth and inexperience.

I see him in our first team in 2 to 3 years time, if we improve in stalemate games against the top 6, Kieran's goals will win important matches.

Dermot Byrne
12 Posted 25/03/2018 at 20:53:20
What is it that Dowell makes me think about Jack Rodwell.

Another player from the Ormskirk/Southport area who has been through our and international junior ranks. Both attract words like "classy" all the time and I love this kind of player and think they should have a place in an Everton side.

So what's the problem?

With little research, two things jump to mind.

Are they just a bit too nice? Not just on match day but perhaps behind the scenes. Have they been looked after so well as they rose through ranks that their skills have developed but they haven't? Have they been over-protected as they were seen by club and country as "assets"? Have they now reached a level where they are now up against lads from much harder paths with more steely fight in them and same skills?

Then I flip to the idea that they have been under the wrong managers or at the wrong club and we haven't been able to afford such "luxury". But with this and Rodwell I scream back at myself "what about Man City".

So I am not claiming any idea has merit alone or mixed together but that is what my gut, if not my head, mumbles. Any views?

Andrew Yates
14 Posted 25/03/2018 at 21:24:25
I see no reason why another season with a half-decent Championship team wouldn't benefit him, we are seeing players develop nearer their mid twenties (with exceptions as always) these days and so let him flourish, continue his development and if deemed fit, a 22-year-old Dowell may then be ready for the big time.

The relentless pressure put upon these 'stars of the future' often ends badly, by no means a comparison but wasn't Ol' Harry Kane loaned out 11 times at various levels before making the 1st team? They have to learn the hard way to stand a chance I believe otherwise you end up with an ego-tastic jumped up 'star' who already believes his own hype without having proved himself.

Guidance is required and if it fails we've produced a player probably capable of a decent career in football.

Eric Paul
15 Posted 25/03/2018 at 22:24:25

Sam will not be here even if we wanted him; he wants out.

Dermot Byrne
16 Posted 25/03/2018 at 22:29:01
Tell me you know that for sure, Eric. Tell me and I sleep well tonight.
Don Alexander
17 Posted 25/03/2018 at 22:37:32
Dermot (#12) your query made me recall comments from Stuart Pearce a year or two ago when he said, immersed as he's been for years in the coaching/management of kids, that he'd attributed the success of another foreign youth team to the fact that, unlike British kids, he said, "They'd had to take responsibility for carrying their own kit-bags off the bus and everyfink!" I nearly fell off my chair!

The sooner the likes of Seamus is able to deliver lectures to all and sundry at Finch Farm as to what the term "hard-boiled but open-eyed professional" means the better.

Dermot Byrne
18 Posted 25/03/2018 at 22:44:12
What a brill quote Don #17. Lol
James Flynn
19 Posted 25/03/2018 at 23:22:43
He has a sweet left foot. And then... nothing he does isn't sussed immediately by opponents. He has a reputation for drifting in and out of games? Because when he's man-marked, he's done.

What stopped him from continuing his great, first form at Nottm Forest? Because the Championship is a tough league and caught up to him. Part of a 20-year-old's schooling, you say? Fair enough.

But he's not physical or pacy. A lot has to happen in a game for Kieran to put that educated left foot of his into play. And he's having problems doing so the Championship level.

Speaking of which, his own words, “Obviously, if I'm in Everton's plans then I'd love it, but if not I wouldn't rule out [returning to Nottingham Forest].”

Because his contract is about up, perhaps? He'd still be making a Championship wage, which is a really good one.

Good luck to him. He's not an Premier League player.

Victor Yu
20 Posted 26/03/2018 at 02:33:11
One more year on loan?
Alan J Thompson
21 Posted 26/03/2018 at 03:05:16
I have trouble wondering what a second year at a lower level will do to prepare him for the Premier League or is it supposed to be some sort of trial?

As stated above (Mike Gaynes #3) pre-season training and friendlies might be a better indication leading, hopefully, to some time off the bench or in League Cup games.

I just find the whole Academy system and the use of bought younger players like Lookman so frustrating especially when you look at the likes of Dele Alli, Lingard and Kane amongst others.

Patience, patience... calm, calm...

Eddie Dunn
22 Posted 26/03/2018 at 06:18:58
Best to get him back, have him training under the eye of the new gaffer, with the first team squad. He doesn't have to nail a regular slot next term, just get his arse onto the bench and get some 15 minute cameos under his belt.

This would obviously be better in a team doing well and if he had been introduced in this season, the impact on him may have been detrimental (eg, Lookman, Vlasic).

He just needs to improve, as all young guys do.

Brian Murray
23 Posted 26/03/2018 at 06:56:15
The top players flit in and out of games but Dowell is easily the best midfielder we have with an eye for a pass or a shot at goal. Send Rooney to Forest instead. Preferably for good.
Trevor Peers
24 Posted 26/03/2018 at 07:21:24
In the same class as Barkley and Besic – not good enough to hold down a place in a Premier League team.
Victor Yu
25 Posted 26/03/2018 at 07:36:17
I mean loan him to a newly promoted club for example.

It would be too risky to rely on a youngster to play big minutes. Giving him 10 minutes here and there won't do him any good either.

Jerome Shields
26 Posted 26/03/2018 at 08:26:11
No chance he will get playing timeunder Big Sam. Big Sam will buy in old professionals in the Summer, he's not interested in youth. All our youth players should be looking for a career somewhere else, like Lookman.

I was thinking at the end of season that I should be disappearing for a while to avoid the waste-of-time transfer sagas. I think I might start because Big Sam and Little Sam are already on holiday and nothing is going to happen to change the status quo anyway.

John G Davies
27 Posted 26/03/2018 at 08:26:47

What do you base that summation on?

Chris Gould
28 Posted 26/03/2018 at 08:52:23
If Dowell played for us regularly next season he would get ripped apart on here. He isn't physical enough or hard working enough for the Premier League. Whether he can develop those attributes is doubtful. Players don't tend to change their natural tendencies.

If he's serious about breaking into our first team, then he should push for a loan move to a Premier League club, although I think realistically he would probably get little game time. He seems happy at Forest but, if his form since the turn of the year continues, they may not want him.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 26/03/2018 at 09:08:51
Dermot (#12), I think what is in your head is very close to the truth. I hope I am wrong but I've watched Dowell since he was 16 and his skills have increased and he is great to watch when he has the ball but the desire to scrap, fight and go looking for the ball has stayed the same.

It looks like he hasn't improved in this part of his game while at Nottm Forest. Without this fight in him, he will stay on the outside looking in.

Dermot Byrne
30 Posted 26/03/2018 at 10:03:50
Dave A (#29): have bought oak frame and have printed off your opening statement. Taken years on TW to achieve that... and I have also cut and pasted it and sent it to my employer, "better-half" and a few selected others!
Neil Wood
31 Posted 26/03/2018 at 10:36:16
Dowell is one of the most naturally gifted footballers in England. Whilst I appreciate he's not the finished article, it takes time and a little patience... Look at Kane. Loaned out to a zillion clubs.

He's a number 10 and in my opinion has the ability to be the best we have seen in many years. Cut the guy some slack and play him.

What you need to remember is the Championship is a different level and players of Dowell's ilk don't necessarily get afforded the same level of protection as some Premier League referees seem to.

Play him, chance him, watch him shine.

Karl Meighan
32 Posted 26/03/2018 at 12:16:52
I would have used this lad from the bench, we don't have many players with natural ability who can go past players and produce a bit of quality.

The play served up this season, I don't see how he could have done worse than others. Its doubtful he could do it on a consistent basis but something unpredictable from the bench may have helped at times.

This really shows the level we are at that we are considering if he is worth a place, no disrespect intended.

Matthew Williams
33 Posted 26/03/2018 at 14:01:34
For me, he would be starting next season on the left wing with Lookman on the right.

The future "could" be brighter after all... just gotta keep the faith, Blues.

John Boon
34 Posted 26/03/2018 at 14:12:15
From observation, he is great on the ball, has a good shot, and can pass. Despite all these important assets, I still feel he lacks the drive and intensity that would make him the ideal player. If he can get the "Peter Reid" type instinct and aggression, he could become a future star.
Fran Mitchell
35 Posted 26/03/2018 at 15:21:01
People have absurd expectations for our young players, expecting perfect performances and a complete all-round game before being considered 'Premier League players'.

Fact is, players need games, time, training and good management. Dowell's performances have dropped as they have the Spanish Allardyce managing them.

He is young and has great ability, maybe he can become.a top player, maybe he can become a decent player.

Since Rooney, we have expected/demanded all young prospects to be wunderkids. If not soon to be world class players, get rid we shout. But we have young players who can give us a good solid squad, give us options, and some who may be top quality.

I see no reason for Dowell not to be given an opportunity as a left-sided forward, or No 10.

People say he is inconsistent and gives the ball away. Who in our team isn't?

Also, people.mention Rodwell. He made a disastrous career move. He was injury prone, and overly hyped. He could well have become a top player but, with his fitness, he was never gonna get the games he needed at Man City. So injuries and bad advice are what did it for him.

Pete Clarke
36 Posted 26/03/2018 at 15:22:41
If Big Sam is buying seasoned pros during the summer, then we may as well be watching Nottm Forrest.

Let's hope Dowell is back with us next season and under a manager that can coach him to be better.

Lev Vellene
37 Posted 26/03/2018 at 16:58:10
Ouch, this aging pro is not the finished article already, even at 20? Who can shove him to the ground, so that I can give him some well-deserved, cowardly kicks for not being an instant-Messi already???

Today, you need to have more than one set of skills to be considered a top player in the Premier League. I have followed some of the news on Dowell, and I know the Nottingham fans are questioning his ability to aid in a defensive capacity.

But, as I see it, if you have someone with a very good offensive, or defensive potential, you should develop that first to make sure that potential doesn't stall! Then start to add those other needed qualities, be they offensive or defensive.

So I expect no miracles from those players under 22-25 but, once they've developed their primary talent to its early maximum, then start to demand of them to add more to their game! From that first peak, only playing time can then hone them into more efficient parts of a top team.

Dowell might very well make it at Everton, but he'd have to learn by coming off the bench, mostly. I think he should be kept and, depending on pre-season and the overall needs for the next season, maybe he might need another loan-stint. If that is at Nottingham Forest under the current manager, or at another club with a different approach to his role, is not for me to guess at.

But at 20, you can dismiss no-one! Harry Kane broke through at 21 (I think), after many loans prior to that, and there are not many clubs having a Harry Kane on their books...

Michael Kenrick
38 Posted 26/03/2018 at 17:33:30
He's always looked an exciting and promising player who just lacks something. Shows how hard it is, even presumably with our best training, motivation and encouragement, to actually create a new Premier League star.

However, some strange new 'rules' coming out on this thread: "But at 20, you can dismiss no-one!" – That's definitely one the club do not follow. As a practical matter, I'm sure they have to cull a substantial number of the youngsters coming through well before they reach the age of 20.

In fact, there's a tweet from Tom Scully, a young Everton U18s player who had been getting games this season, indicating he left the club about a week or 10 days ago – and another suggesting he was one of FOURTEEN youngsters that have been released!!!

I cannot corroborate this but would appreciate any enlightenment.

Lev Vellene
39 Posted 26/03/2018 at 18:16:59
Michael #38

I agree I should not have made the statement so abbreviated!

Lots fall by the wayside, their early promise not blossoming into what a top team needs. Some may develop that talent/promise a lot better away from a Premier League academy, playing regular football at a much lower level, and then see some positive interest from Championship sides, and maybe later even with Premier League clubs.

But in this case I was more specifically thinking about players seen as very good talents once they'd passed the tests of the U18s, then got into the U23s at an early-ish age due to their talent/performances, and being seen as good prospects for eventually heading further up into the first team.

And yet, we can seldom give them the playing time they need to hone those skills at top level these days. So loans may be our bread and butter for making these promising youngsters blossom into first team players. It's all up to them now.

Rob Dolby
40 Posted 26/03/2018 at 18:45:08
Dowell has quality without doubt. He needs to be given a run in the team to gain experience; it's a shame we can't recall him for the end of season dead rubbers. In my opinion, the lad could be played in the first team as a wide midfielder.

The trouble we have is that we don't have a clue how we set up as a team from game to game. Too many square pegs this season has impacted everyone's form – not just the youngsters. It says a lot when Niasse is one of our better performers purely on effort alone.

Probably best for him to stay on at Forest for another season whilst we still have Big Sam as the gaffer.

John Raftery
41 Posted 26/03/2018 at 23:26:25
The criticism that he can go missing in games is one that is levelled at many players of Dowell's style. In that regard, players such Kevin Sheedy and Mezut Ozil spring to mind. Like those players, Dowell is someone who can add the key ingredients sometimes missing in a team of grafters such as goals from outside the box, excellent passing and crossing.

For me, Dowell has far more natural talent than Sigurdsson. Providing he applies himself correctly and is given the opportunities, there is every reason to believe he will reach the level required in due course. Sheedy was 22 when he arrived at Everton, far from the finished article after four years with the RS stiffs. Lingard has really only established himself this season as a regular for his club at the age of 25.

Liam Reilly
42 Posted 26/03/2018 at 23:53:06
Wow, just wow.

The boy has had a new manager who moved him into a different position in which he's clearly not comfortable and most on here have already labelled him the next Brett Angell.

Seriously, the negativity against youngsters, who've not even had a glimpse yet, is just depressing.

Dave Abrahams
43 Posted 27/03/2018 at 12:09:08
I will guarantee that when / if Kieran gets a regular game for Everton, the threads on here will be as long or longer than the ones on the pros and cons of Ross Barkley.
Tony Everan
44 Posted 27/03/2018 at 20:41:56
Lev Vellene
45 Posted 28/03/2018 at 18:51:46
Dave (#43),

This is why I hope he can get another year on loan somewhere he'll be required to develop that broader skill through (hopefully!) playing almost every game.

He's already done the easy stuff for someone with a good talent, getting accolades for what he's a natural at doing! So now is the time for him to adapt to the fact that the opposition has finally learned what he's a natural at doing...

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.

About these ads