10 Exciting Prospects from Everton's Academy

Monday, 29 March, 2021 28comments  |  Jump to last

Everton Academy now boasts a number of serious prospects for future advancement to the higher echelons of football. This article lists 10 young players to keep an eye on over the coming seasons to see how they progress:

  1. Tyler Onyango
  2. Thierry Small
  3. Rhys Hughes
  4. Harry Tyrer
  5. Isaac Price
  6. Tom Cannon
  7. Matthew Mallon
  8. Reece Welch
  9. Lewis Warrington
  10. Charlie Whitaker

Whether they end up saving Everton millions in the transfer market, as the dubious Echo headline claims, well, the evidence of hundreds of previous exciting prospects who failed to make the grade shows how difficult it will be for these lads.

Quotes sourced from Liverpool Echo


Reader Comments (28)

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Martin Berry
1 Posted 29/03/2021 at 16:42:59
These young men are going to have to be something very special to make the step up, but it's been done by every player who has made any first team.

Good luck to them all.

Roger Helm
2 Posted 29/03/2021 at 17:50:52
Yes, it would be great if one of them made the first team.

There seem to be dozens of lads who come through the academy and don't make the first team but go on to have a career in the lower leagues. Does the club get any money for bringing through these young players, or are we supplying them to the game for free, as it were?

Robert Tressell
3 Posted 29/03/2021 at 19:38:25
I'd be very surprised if more than 5 ever make their league debut with us, but there's a very good chance all will make a very good career from football.

There's also Jagne, Garcia, Kouyate and Dobbin who could conceivably make a first team debut for us.

The standards they need to hit at a young age are extraordinarily high.

Jay Harris
5 Posted 29/03/2021 at 19:43:53
Robert, I'm presuming you've left Branthwaite and Nkounkou out because they already have first-team exposure? Likewise, I don't think you could consider Gordon and Kenny to be academy players anymore.
Derek Taylor
6 Posted 29/03/2021 at 19:50:02
Only goalkeepers need apply for seats on the Everton bench!
Robert Tressell
7 Posted 29/03/2021 at 20:03:59
That's right, Jay. Those lads have already been about the first team squad and first 11. I'd sort of excluded Simms on that basis too although he's probably more with this group of younger prospects.
Steavey Buckley
8 Posted 29/03/2021 at 20:10:48
I reserve my judgement on the named young players 'making it'. A far cry from the 1969-70 Division 1 title winners when all the players could have all played in the 1st team in one match from the youth teams.

But, after Harry Catterick left Goodison, the youth teams players providing players for the 1st team went into sharp decline. To such an extent, the Everton academy have only provided one extra irregular player to the first team in 5 years.

Derek Knox
9 Posted 30/03/2021 at 17:03:49
Yes we all hope for the youngsters making it but, as some have said it's a very hard thing to do and only the outstanding have a chance, which they have to grab with both hands, if and when it comes along. I try to watch the U23 & U18 Games when I can and of the names listed, Thierry Small, Tom Cannon and possibly Tyler Onyango seem to stand out.

A bit surprised Ryan Astley is not mentioned or is he in the group above now? The same for Tony Dobbin. Mind you, we have seen over the years players who we thought would make it, but seem to fade into obscurity. Kieran Dowell, was the one I had very high hopes for, and he was given chances at senior level, and in pre-season games, but apart from the odd flourish he never seemed to want it enough.

With the Summer Transfer Window looming, and even if we get half of the globally famous names, we have been linked with, plus what we already have, it will be even harder for these lads to push established Internationals for a place in the squad even. Form is temporary, Class is permanent, so if they have it, who knows?

Peter Gorman
10 Posted 30/03/2021 at 22:40:22
I'll reserve judgement until Antony Kelly comes on and tells us how rubbish they all are.
Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 01/04/2021 at 09:35:09
Derek (9),

Unless they absolutely stand out (Rooney is the only one who has done that), then it is very hard to tell with certainty who will make it. Some look very likely, then fade away; others who look ordinary and don't impress at a young age persevere and then blossom into very good players; Ben Godfrey seems to me to be one of those.

Who has took more stick than Tom Davies? yet only in the last few months has he started changing fans minds about his ability; he will never change some fans minds, I understand that.

I still believe that Liam Walsh will make it from Bristol City. His biggest mistake, in my opinion, was getting impatient and insisting in getting a permanent move to Bristol. He would have got his chance at Everton eventually, but that's the chance you take.

I see Small with a good chance of getting to the top out of the present players.

Paul Turner
12 Posted 02/04/2021 at 09:07:32
BBC reporting that the Daily Express (yes, I know...) claims that:

"Everton full-back Thierry Small, 16, is willing to turn down a three-year professional deal in order to pursue first-team opportunities elsewhere, with Manchester United, Arsenal, Brighton and Brentford among those keen on his services".

Martin Nicholls
13 Posted 02/04/2021 at 10:08:42
Paul #12,

I read that too. The inference that he'd get more first team opportunities at Man Utd (or Arsenal) made me laugh! As for leaving EFC for Brighton or Brentford...

Kevin Prytherch
14 Posted 02/04/2021 at 10:33:50
What a pointless thread. The second they're up to U23 level, Unsworth will turn them into Premier League 2 robots with the sole intent of winning the reserve league. That's if they get a game for the U23s before they're 21 with his track record of hanging on to older players.

Might as well stop dreaming now, none of them will do a thing.

Mike Doyle
15 Posted 02/04/2021 at 10:35:32
I suspect that if I was a young player like Thierry Small I would be interested in looking at a decent club in Europe as providing a faster route to first team football than remaining at any PL club, kicking around in the under 18/21 set up while waiting to be loaned out to Reading, Fleetwood etc... I’m trying to recall the last time one of our players went out on loan and made a big impression - was it Seamus at Blackpool?
As a player I guess you’d look at the status and age of the players in front of you and make a judgement call. Apparently he hasn’t signed a contract offered, thus it Wouldn’t be a surprise if he opted to leave.
Stephen Brown
16 Posted 02/04/2021 at 10:42:13
Surely a long-term contract with a Championship loan with a realistic sell-on clause is the best option here?

4-year deal; Loan to Championship 21-22; Sell clause to top division team of £15M if not in first team by 22-23

It's a shame we've got 3 good left-backs plus Godfrey and only an ageing and injury-prone Séamus at right-back.

Brent Stephens
17 Posted 02/04/2021 at 10:47:56
Kevin #14,

"That's if they get a game for the U23s before they're 21 with his track record."

The recent U23 line-ups don't suggest that.

Brian Williams
18 Posted 02/04/2021 at 11:05:10
Kevin #14.

If the thread's pointless Kev, why bother posting? Unless, God forbid, you just wanna have a moan... :-)

Colin Glassar
19 Posted 02/04/2021 at 11:21:49
Personally, I think these academies are a waste of time and money. 99% of these kids never make it at an elite level.

The last time we produced a world class player was Rooney who’s a once in a generation player. Go back to scouting schools and parks to find another gold nugget. It’s cheaper and more effective. Academies just destroy kids natural skills and make them into automatons.

Don Alexander
20 Posted 02/04/2021 at 11:28:42
Dave A (#11) makes a good point re Tom Davies. Having just read Koeman's "development coach" on the reduction of gym work that they imposed when they took over, which he admitted confused the players, Tom to me has bulked out a bit now and is a better player for it.

Good to now have first-team coaches who know what they're doing I'd say.

John Raftery
21 Posted 02/04/2021 at 12:23:10
Rooney was more like a once a century player from the academy. Who else has any club’s academy produced with anything like his ability, goals tally, appearances for his country, trophies and medals? He cannot be the benchmark for measuring the success of the academy.

It is more realistic to look at the number who make it through to the first team. In that respect over the past twenty five years or so our academy has a reasonable track record, albeit many of those who made it to first team level failed to develop their careers as well as they might have. The reasons for that are many and varied but include the character of individuals, the attitude of managers and sometimes the luck of being in the right place at the right time.

Thomas Richards
23 Posted 02/04/2021 at 12:33:56
John 21

I agree, a freak of nature was Wayne. A man's body and strength at the age of 16.

Nearest I have seen to him at the same age is Foden. This kid will develop into an all-time great in my opinion. A left footed Gascoigne with more pace.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 02/04/2021 at 12:35:19
I agree with what Colin@19 says, but not to the same extent. I’d revamp the whole restructure, stop junior school kids playing competitively during the harshest winter months, and concentrate on more quality training than competitive matches during these early years.

I’d spend less money on the bottom end, and more money on the top end, (ages) and start schooling the kids once they got to the last two years of school.

Keep the fun in the game for as long as possible, winning is great but learning is better, and just because you win, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re learning, but that’s just my own opinion, on a huge subject, with enough different opinions to fill a book.

Chris Williams
25 Posted 02/04/2021 at 12:58:59
I remember some clever bugger called Wayne an assassin-faced baby after one early game after he got booked for clattering someone.

The opposite of Solksjaer!

Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 02/04/2021 at 13:11:05
Last of the street footballers Wayne, just loved playing football, anywhere anytime, that’s what he was born for, I saw him once by The Playhouse in town with three of his mates with a big ball getting kicked around between them, just young lads enjoying playing football, Wayne totally unaware of his status and to his mates he was just one of them, Wayne was in Everton’s first team at the time. He will never enjoy the rest of his life like he has enjoyed the first third of it, no more playing football, but I hope he is happy.
Chris Williams
27 Posted 02/04/2021 at 13:17:02
Me too Dave!

I also see the Echo is refuting the story in the Express, and saying he, Small, can’t sign a contract until he’s 17 later this year and ‘understands’ talks are progressing normally and smoothly.

Colin Glassar
28 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:11:51
Stop paying these kids stupid wages as well. What type of hunger for the game are they going to have if they’re earning a fortune and some of them are millionaires before even getting into the first team squad?
It’s ridiculous. What motivation to succeed is there? If I’ve got a few million quid in the bank I’d put me feet up too.
Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 02/04/2021 at 20:17:10
Colin@28, I’d definitely agree with that mate. Luke Garbutt must be the best example, because these EPL clubs, give these kids a lot more money for playing in the under 23 league, than what most Championship clubs would pay them for playing in the first team.

John Hood
30 Posted 05/04/2021 at 19:53:39
Re the comment about Brentford (13)... They have a brilliant record of spotting and developing promising young players. If you are an ambitious young player, it is probably the best current stepping stone to the Premier League, especially for young players who might see their prospects blocked by the presence of many senior players.

Ollie Watkins, Ezri Konsa, James Tarkowski, Said Benrahma, Neil Maupay etc with Ivan Toney next up. Of course newspaper transfer speculation is 90% rubbish but the idea is by no means daft.


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