Unsworth anticipates 'shake-up' of U23s team

Wednesday, 18 April, 2018 0comments  |  Jump to last

David Unsworth has been laying out the immediate future for his Under-23s squad, one which he says is in the middle of another cycle following last season's Premier League 2 title triumph.

Everton's developmental squad has endured a more difficult campaign than last season, not least because of the inevitable change in personnel that has seen the likes of Tom Davies, Jonjoe Kenny and Beni Baningame graduate to the senior side while other first-team hopefuls like Kieran Dowell have been sent out on loan to gain more experience.

By design, the U23s setup can be a victim of its own success but Unsworth will embark on what he describes as a ”shake up” this summer to continue the transition to the next successful group.

That will include some players moving on to different clubs and targeted acquisitions being made from outside the club, while players from the Under-18s will also continue to be blooded at Premier League 2 level.

“The group needs a little shake-up,” Unsworth says in the Liverpool Echo. “There are lads who are a little bit older who need to move on, that's fair and they know who they are.

“There are new lads who have come to the club who have come from clubs who are not used to the pace and tempo and speed at which we play and the demands of a Premier League player we drum into them everyday so that takes a little bit of time — it did with the last group.

“It took a couple of years for the likes of Tom, Jonjoe, Kieran to come up to the level that I know will get them in and around the first-team.

“This group is in that early stage and the young players that have come up maybe should not have been around it but they are and have been given the opportunity and we never moan about that because the job is about producing players for the first-team. But, as I said to the players, there's no reason why we can't win at the same time.

“I don't just want one or two coming through. When you have a group like last year's, I want that to happen every couple of years but we know where we are at and hopefully, with the addition of two or three more in the summer, this has got the nucleus of a very good squad.

“We've highlighted the positions we want to strengthen and know the players we want and hopefully the board can approve that and we can bring these top quality players into our club.”

Everton U23s are mid-table in Premier League 2 in 7th place ahead of their final game of the season, a trip to relegated Manchester United.


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