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Everton in contract talks with Lewis Warrington

Thursday, 14 April 2022 56comments  |  Jump to last
Everton are reported to have opened talks with Lewis Warrington on a new contract with the club.

Warrington is currently on a half-season loan with Tranmere Rovers, where he has become a first-choice on the teamsheet, having featured in every Everton U23 game over the first half of this season.

The 19-year-old midfielder's first professional contract with the club is set to expire in the summer and Everton are keen to secure him on a new deal.

Reader Comments (56)

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Tony Everan
1 Posted 14/04/2022 at 16:55:28
I hope a sensible agreement can be reached. He's always stood out for the U23s and now, aged 19, doing a great job on loan at Tranmere, up against physically tough opponents every week. He only has to look at Anthony Gordon to see that if he is good enough (in terms of talent and work ethic) he will get opportunities at Everton. Don't hesitate, Lewis, get that contract signed.
Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 14/04/2022 at 17:04:38
I would offer a 1-year deal and see how he progresses. He has shown he is good enough for Tranmere but it's not like Real Madrid are scouting him. We don't want to get encumbered with another charity case like Luke Garbutt if we give him a long deal.
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 14/04/2022 at 17:04:42
I always try not to get carried away with young players as you can just never tell. As always, development happens for different players at different stages and some never realise the early potential.

But this one has impressed me just about every time I've watched him.

In my view, he could potentially be the glue in the midfield. The one who fills the gap between defence and midfield. His range of passing, eye for a pass and ability to keep it simple when necessary as well as spray a 40 yarder is eye catching.

I would love him closer to the first team squad next season. And like I say, I'm usually very cautious to giving young players time. Get him signed and get him involved.

Brent Stephens
4 Posted 14/04/2022 at 17:15:14
Really liked everything I saw from him for the U23s. Impressed with how quickly he settled into that level when first introduced to it. He's impressed at Tranmere by all accounts and I guess that experience will be well worth while.

Sign up, step up, and deliver, young man.

Ben King
5 Posted 14/04/2022 at 18:13:26
Kieran #2

That was such a ridiculous decision by inept management

Robert Tressell
6 Posted 14/04/2022 at 20:24:18
Very likeable player. Good work rate and use of the ball. Don't really know whether he's better than, say, Lundstram, Forshaw and Ledson who previously looked good at this level. Hopefully he is.
Si Cooper
7 Posted 15/04/2022 at 01:17:32
Sorry Kieran, but wouldn’t a 1 year deal see us hopelessly exposed if he does crack on and gets noticed by the bigger fish and ends up with a load of juicy offers on the table next summer.
19 isn’t old for a tactical midfielder so I’d definitely want to tie a prospect in that position to the club until I’d seen what he was like at 21. Apart from his performance on the pitch the club will also have a better idea of his leadership credentials.
In my mind 2 years is a far better timeframe than 1, and I wouldn’t be too bothered if the club went to 3 as we will still need to be putting out under 23 teams anyway.
Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 15/04/2022 at 01:55:16

I get your point but to Robert Tressel’s on Ledson and co, and you could add Beningame, Williams etc. I guess I’ve become a bit cynical about our under 23s. For the last couple of years I’ve heard various posters on here taking up individuals: Dobbin, Simms, Whitaker, Warrington, Onyango, Ashley, Mills. But at the same time the same posters when commenting on the sum of their parts as the under 23 team say the team as a whole is pretty terrible. So I’m scratching my head trying to reconcile the long list of good prospects with the group that is poor. If you look at other, better sides, 16/17:/18 year olds make an impact at first team level if they’re good enough eg Wilshere, Saka, Foden, even Delap’s boy. But we seem to get a lot of 19 year olds who we give new contracts too when they are at league one or league two level — holding their own but not exactly setting those divisions alight. Then they seem to block the path of others until they permanently return to that level at 22-24 years old. Like I say, there’s been no real furire around Warrington. 12 months might inspire him to up his game. Two or three years and he might be another thinking he’s made it already and lose his drive or be exposed eg Galloway, Pennington, McAleny, Charsley

David Currie
9 Posted 15/04/2022 at 17:55:35
This lad has a chance at Everton and is a good footballer.
Danny O’Neill
10 Posted 15/04/2022 at 18:01:55
Very good point on Lundstram, Robert.

I liked him and remember being impressed at an FA Youth Cup match at Loftus Road against QPR years ago.

Cold night and we lost, but I liked what I saw of him. Very good and cultured on the ball. It just shows, you can never tell unless there is a Rooney-like natural stand-out.

Derek Knox
11 Posted 16/04/2022 at 00:26:43
I too hope the lad makes it, every time I have seen him, albeit via YouTube or whatever covering the U23 Games he has looked to be consistently decent. Like many have said, we have had lads before who we believed may have been good enough to go all the way, only for them to still have a career but at lower levels.

I always believed Kieran Dowell to be one of those, but in Kieran's case, he had the skill to go further, but never applied himself, seemingly happy to just play at Premier League sub-level. We have quite a few at the moment who are 'potentials', including the lad at Sunderland, I just hope we can reap the benefits of homegrown talent, rather than pay megabucks, for sicknotes, shirkers or has-beens !

Kieran Kinsella
12 Posted 16/04/2022 at 05:02:43

I thought Dowell might make it too. But as we head into Easter I think of John the Baptist, Simon Magus, David Icke and others mistakenly viewed as Messiahs. Just give Warrington a couple of fish and a few loaves and see if he can feed the entire Gwladys End. If he does it, three year deal. If not, send him to Coventry

Sam Hoare
13 Posted 16/04/2022 at 07:26:31
Kieran, you make a fair point and of course the vast majority of youth players will never make it at the highest levels.

However to keep excellent prospects here, we have to make it look like the opportunity for progression is here. Young players should be rewarded for good performance, to a sensible degree of course.

Some talents break through at 18 or 19 but others need longer. A year or so ago, a fair few on here were writing Anthony Gordon off but he has really kicked on over the last 6 months and is now 21.

I agree we don't want to clog up the academy with players aged 22, 23, and 24 as has happened in the past but at 19 and doing well on loan I'd definitely offer Warrington a 2-year contract (not at Garbutt levels obviously) and then see how he does in the Championship or League One next season.

Part of sorting out the financial mess of this club is going to include finding players who will work hard for the club without being paid a fortune, the likes of Gordon and perhaps Davies, Branthwaite and even Kenny on a good day are so useful to this end; even if they are 3rd choice right back and very much a squad player.

We pay Gomes around £120k a week to be on the bench (cause he's mainly a liability on the pitch). I reckon, if Warrington does okay in the Championship next season, then he could do as good a job as Gomes for us for around £15-25k per week.

Michael Kenrick
14 Posted 16/04/2022 at 10:18:35
Some news of the other young Everton talents out on loan.

Nathan Broadhead may have finally shaken off the hamstring injury that has been troubling him at Sunderland in League One. He's played in the last 3 games and scored 3 goals, included 2 last night as the Black Cats beat Shrewsbury 3-2.

Lewis Gibson is having a much worse time at League One rivals Sheffield Wednesday. After returning to Finch Farm for treatment on a long-term injury last Autumn, he eventually went back to resume his loan deal with The Owls. He was deemed fit enough to be part of the squad for all of 5 games in February and March before injury struck yet again. He has not played in the last 6 games.

Ellis Simms was getting headlines earlier at Hearts but his goals seem to have dried up at 3, he hasn't scored in the last 5 games and has been subbed off in the last 2 games.

Danny O’Neill
15 Posted 16/04/2022 at 10:28:52
Thanks for the update, Michael. Positive stuff on Nathan Broadhead.

I'll be honest, and most know I'm all for being patient, letting young players have their inevitable ups and downs as well as acknowledging some come good later. But I'm just not seeing it in Simms. Hopefully that transpires to be a not seeing it yet.

What is it with our players and injuries though?

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 16/04/2022 at 10:44:32
Could Broadhead be similar to Leon Osman? My telly froze when it was showing one of his goals yesterday, but what a strike, hard and low with perfect technique, and he does seem to be Sunderland's talisman.
Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 16/04/2022 at 12:21:09
Tony (16),

Last season, Everton signed King from Watford but never played him; it looked like Ancelotti didn't fancy him. Broadhead got a couple of sniffs and wasn't fancied either.

King went back to Watford and showed us what he was capable of in the 2-5 game. Broadhead was given a 2-year contract and sent on loan to Sunderland.

Everton then signed Rondon and played him when it was obvious he wasn't fit. Now he is fit he isn't even getting a proper game – 9 minutes versus Burnley while Calvert-Lewin is struggling to find his form but doesn't look like he is 100% fit.

Very strange goings-on at the Blues, with the money on a loan fee for King plus wages, and wages for Rondon, looking like they were mostly wasted with no blame on King and Rondon; it could be argued we should have kept Broadhead on very low wages and possibly be better off for it.

Michael Kenrick
18 Posted 16/04/2022 at 12:21:34
Just listening to 5Live and they are featuring the Scottish Cup semi-final, just started, Hearts v Hibs at Hampden. Simms leading the line for Hearts.
Michael Kenrick
19 Posted 16/04/2022 at 12:34:07
And Simms rattles in a screamer from 25 yards to put Hearts ahead. Seems the lad knows how to hit a moving ball... just sayin'!

Just seen it via the BBC website:

Watch: Scottish Cup semi-final

Go to 15:20 on the match clock. An excellent strike. Their free-kick at 20:00 is also well worth a look.

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 16/04/2022 at 13:13:48
Great experience for Simms - and a cracking strike too. Thanks for sharing Michael.
Phill Thompson
21 Posted 16/04/2022 at 14:03:07
A brilliant strike from Simms, he’s missed some easier chances in the past few weeks but possibly the best goal he’s scored. Match is on BBC Scotland for those with satellite.
Danny O’Neill
22 Posted 16/04/2022 at 14:30:13
Well done Ellis.

State of Scottish football though. A semi final between 2 City rivals.

Banks of empty seats.

When I go to Wembley next season, no ticket and the Green man for me.

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 16/04/2022 at 14:40:47
Michael (19), great goal by Ellis Simms but no Beni Banginime, not even on the bench.

I bet with this kid's luck he is out injured again. If he is, I hope he's fit for the final.

Tony Hill
24 Posted 16/04/2022 at 14:57:47
He is injured, Dave @23, and out for the season I think. He's done very well up there – I always had a soft spot for him, very talented lad who just lacked a bit to make it for us.
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 16/04/2022 at 15:04:47
Tony (24),

Yes I always like Beni, watched him come through the ranks at Everton and I too hoped he would make it at Everton.

He had a quiet nature but could play okay and wasn't afraid to get stuck in but he had a few injuries and that curtailed his progress. He might have done better had he moved away sooner. He joined Wigan on loan I think but wasn't played much.

As you say he is doing okay up in Scotland and hopefully he will recover from this latest injury and make a career up in Scotland for himself.

Ajay Gopal
26 Posted 16/04/2022 at 15:05:32
Me too, Tony (24). I really like Beni – a ‘Rolls-Royce' of a player in my opinion :-). I secretly hope that Everton have a buy-back clause for him. He has been unfortunate with injuries but, whenever he has played for them, he has been outstanding as per reports.
Michael Kenrick
27 Posted 16/04/2022 at 15:35:25
Hard to catch you out, Dave, gawd knows I've tried!

But I think you'll find Josh King spent many a long and happy season with Bournemouth before his prodigious talent was acquired by Everton and put to such effective use by Carlo Ancelotti.

After this traumatic experience, the player was released by Everton, whence Watford picked him up.

But hands up, We don't talk about Beni – I'd forgotten all about him. So we'll call it quits.

Michael Kenrick
28 Posted 16/04/2022 at 15:48:18
Danny @22,

I wondered about that wedge of empty seats. As there was no-one at all in that section, I imagine it was Scottish crowd control at its best.

Contrast that with Wembley this arvo, where the City fans seem to have brought the Etihad seating arrangements with them...

Can't believe how small Hampden is! At 51,866, the iconic new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock by the Royal Blue Mersey will a smidge bigger!

Phil Smith
29 Posted 16/04/2022 at 00:09:15
Rob (6), 2 out of those 3 are Premier League level players, and Ledson is still young enough to make it. Another, Kieran Dowell, showed what he could do, if someone had a little more faith in him, with a goal and an assist at Old Trafford today.
Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 17/04/2022 at 02:53:01
Phil Smith

I don't want to talk for Robert Tressell but I think what he meant is that those mentioned seemed unusually good or, to use the Martinez vernacular, “diamonds” among the best in class of their generation. They've had credible careers but they're not players who would improve Everton or be part of a Top 6 side.

If Warrington ends up with 50 career appearances to his name as an occasional starter for a Premier League team, that's nice for him but doesn't do Everton any good if we are to ever be successful again. The hope is that Warrington could be an England international or at least close to.

Steve Brown
31 Posted 17/04/2022 at 05:09:26
I watched Kieran Dowell yesterday against Man Utd and he played pretty well - he laid on a goal for Pukki with a great pass.

We all want our Academy players to become first team regulars, but as Sam says they can also fulfill an important role as squad rotation players. Minimum we should aim to continue their development to be able to sell them for a fee. That is what Chelsea do very successfully.

If they don’t break into the first team, Simms and Broadhead will fetch a decent fee to reinvest in the first team.

Danny O’Neill
32 Posted 17/04/2022 at 05:26:14
It's why I am comfortable with the start point for our capacity at the new stadium, Michael.

Man City are mocked by their local rivals about the "Empty-had" as it's visibly never full despite their success. Regardless of what they publish in terms of attendance, I regularly see plenty of empty seats at the Emirates and, dare I say, St James' Park. And depending on how they're faring, I recall Villa Park with an almost empty top tier of their main stand for many fixtures a few years ago.

Juventus down-sized. Roma were planning to (52,000 - expandable to 65,000) until the plans were shelved.

Give me a full 52,000 stadium over 52,000 in a 65,000 one any day even though it would make it easier for me to get a season ticket!!

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 17/04/2022 at 05:54:19
Interesting point Steve, which I don't disagree with.

I was always impressed with Dowell and I would never criticise someone who has carved out a career in the professional game. It's no mean feat and he deserves respect for doing so. Taking the individual out of it, let's use the player as an example. Not deemed good enough for Everton, an underperforming club that hasn't won anything for nearly 30 years. Loaned out to the likes of Nottingham Forest, Derby and Wigan. Now having a decent game for a team that has been nailed on for a return to the Championship since almost the first kick of the season.

I'm not deliberately being provocative or a dick. The point is to your point. That is generally the standard we produce. For many years, our academy hasn't produced the standard we need either to enable a successful first team or, to your other point, to generate decent income. I don't for a minute think any of our current young players would command a fee that Villa were able to negotiate for Grealish and Tottenham could have done for Harry Kane. Southampton has done well over years and Liverpool always seem to get decent wedge for players (Solanke for £20M??).

That tells me we have not been good enough for too long in youth development. Or we are just simply not good at business. It's probably both, I know!!

Maybe that is changing with the likes of Gordon coming through - but I want to keep him.

Chris Corn
34 Posted 17/04/2022 at 08:14:28
I agree re capacity, Danny. I wonder where these extra 20-odd thousand would come from to fill a 60+k stadium?

I argue this with my mates. I live in Wirral. You go in local pubs or clubs when the neighbours are on TV and it is rammed. I watched the Palace cup game in our local club with four of my mates and it was just us five in the room.

Alan McGuffog
35 Posted 17/04/2022 at 08:48:40

You are right on both points. We are bloody useless at business. Let's see if things change if / when Richarlison leaves.

Reported today that Man Utd are looking for £40M for their keeper, Henderson.

I dunno how long Richarlison has left on his contract but, if it's more than a season, then should we not be looking at £60M at the very least?

Steve Brown
36 Posted 17/04/2022 at 08:52:07
Danny, I think only Chelsea have regularly produced young players who might have the quality to make a Premier League first team. But, it wasn't a given that they would all make it.

Take Mount for example. He went to Derby on loan and it wasn't a given that he would break into the Chelsea team when he returned. He was actually fortunate in having a manager in Lampard who took a chance on playing him, along with Abraham, Hudson-Odoi, Tomori and James.

Equally, Chelsea have cashed in on Livramento, Guehi, Tomori and Abraham for a considerable profit. They may do the same with Gilmour and Gallagher. They are all Premier League level players but judged not good enough for a Champions League club.

We might be producing more Championship-level players than Premier League-standard players, but I think that is true of most young players that Premier League clubs release. Chelsea for me are the exception.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
37 Posted 17/04/2022 at 09:10:16
Out of the 1000s of youngsters, how many actually make it as a Premier League player? How many players are there? 20 clubs, 25 players per club = 500.

So what chance has a player got of being in that top 0.5%

That is actually a 1 in 200 chance. How good are you at picking 200-1 winners on a regular basis? And if you did, is it luck or should you be getting a job as a tipster?

Robert Tressell
38 Posted 17/04/2022 at 09:36:16
Kieran # 30, that is exactly what I meant.

Lundstram and Forshaw have had good careers. Ledson is not doing badly at all and may follow. Personally, I think all of them have kicked on for having dropped down the leagues and built themselves back up. Credit to them for doing so. If Warrington can match that for a career then he'll have done very well.

However, as a club, we need all of our players to be at or around international class - because that's the standard at the upper end of the Premier League.

Rooney, Barkley, Jeffers, Ball and Rodwell all had that type of class (albeit some had disappointing careers for different reasons). Gordon has it.

That's the standard of a first-teamer who will help Everton kick on. That's what the academy needs to produce.

Warrington does not appear to be in that class (no England youth recognition, for example) but may do well enough, as Sam says, to stay at the club providing the sort of cover currently provided at great cost by the awful Gomes.

That would be a good but unspectacular result for both club and players.

Ian Bennett
39 Posted 17/04/2022 at 09:51:20
97% of academy players never play a premier league minute.

That's what the kids are up against, they're hugely unlikely to even play a minute in the big time, never mind make it as a bit part squad player - or even less likely to make it as a first choice.

To change it, you either have two or three partnerships with good players moving both ways. Complete transparency that they feed on there better platers, and in return get good league players not quite capable of EPL.

Or what Moyes talked about, but never followed through on. You enter a reserve team, and play through the levels to get into league football.

There are far more success stories of players coming through the leagues, than through sterile youth football.

Dave Abrahams
40 Posted 17/04/2022 at 09:51:22
Michael (27), Hands up there Michael you got me fair and square on that one, yes recall it now, King would have been a free agent at the end of that season before we rushed in to sign him and hardly use him.
Michael Kenrick
41 Posted 17/04/2022 at 09:58:37
I see one weekend clickbait theme is Nathan Broadhead converting his loan deal at Sunderland into something more permanent in the Summer:

“You never know in football. We will see what happens in the future.”

Ah, so young but so wise… Got me wondering how many of our loaned-out players do go back on permanent deals?

I can think of one: Matthew Pennington, whose 7th Everton loan was with Shrewsbury – and that's where he went straight back to. But I think it's rare, init?

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 17/04/2022 at 10:02:01
I've always thought it to be fine margins as to whether a player makes it or not.

Taking my blue tinted glasses off, youth coaches can only hope they help players to go on an forge a career in the professional game. Ideally with Everton, but if not, you have helped them on their way. I really liked Lundstram when he came through and am pleased he's gone on to have a good career.

@Steve Brown: I would say Chelsea have recently produced based on laying foundations over the past decade or so since they moved to Cobham. Prior to that and when I first moved here, they used to train on daisy fields near Heathrow and were buying rather than developing.

For consistency over the decades and generations, I don't think you can touch Manchester United. And it's easy to forget how good West Ham have been as well. It irks me that we don't nurture what is on our doorstep. I know it isn't that simple and the best bring in young talent from elsewhere; Arsne Wengers Arsenal a good example.

Talking of West Ham, how did one of the best fullbacks in the league from Halewood slip the net? It's all about fine margins and I get the percentage quotes, but surely we can do more to embrace what is on our own doorstep?

Brian Harrison
43 Posted 17/04/2022 at 10:31:14
Danny 42

Man Utd have always had a great ability to produce local lads for their first team going back to the Busby babes, and unlike Chelsea who tend to buy in talented teenagers and younger from around the World. I think its an interesting comparison between Chelsea and Man Utd, Chelsea view their academy policy as a cash cow as well as producing real quality for the first team. But Man Utd only look to produce players for the first team. I think over the last 20 years Chelsea must have generated more than any club in revenue sales, probably closely followed by Man Utd despite them having different policy ideas.

I think we all remember Kevin Keegan scrapping the academies at Newcastle suggesting they weren't cost effective for the money they cost. Although Keegan was roundly criticized for those opinions, for many clubs its still not cost effective to have an academy set up. Now whether that is through poor coaching or poor recruitment of young players, Everton havent produced to many home grown players over the last 20 years maybe with the exception of Rooney and to a much lesser extent Barkley, Osman, Hibbert and Davies. Not much to show for 20 years.

Michael Kenrick
44 Posted 17/04/2022 at 10:34:01
Danny, are you talking Cresswell???

You cannot be serious. The guy is 32 and you're asking how on earth we missed out on him as a local youth player???

Maybe it's because Liverpool released him at 15?
Maybe it's because he then went to Tranmere?
Maybe it's because that was his level?
Maybe he wasn't a Premier League fullback then?
Maybe he then went to Ipswich for a few years...

And eventually West Ham where, after many years as a journeyman, he finally coming good.

But yea, let's beat up on our failed Academy once again. Pfft!

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 17/04/2022 at 10:40:24
Interesting that Chris@34. My opinion is that a lot of local Liverpudlians, tend to go to the same pub, to watch every single game, and would rather do this, than go and watch the game inside the stadium, every week?

Wasn’t there something about them only having around 6500 season tickets with a Merseyside post code? This coming to light when the grounds began to get opened up to limited numbers during Covid, whereas Everton had around 27000 season ticket holders coming from Merseyside?

I think Everton would do well to get 50000 people inside the stadium for every single game, right now, and even with a lot of success, would only have similar numbers to Manchester City.

A lot of Liverpudlians think it was Istanbul, that helped gain them such a big world wide following, and although it might have helped, I’m absolutely certain it was the “injustice of Hillsborough” that turned a lot of people into supporting Liverpool?

Robert Tressell
46 Posted 17/04/2022 at 10:46:24
I would have thought that for a club like Everton an academy should be viable, cost effective and an essential part of its roots in the community it represents.

Done properly, it should certainly be more cost effective than the very hit and miss transfer market.

What does 'done properly' mean? Look at examples around Europe.

A lot of clubs on the continent I expect would find it bizarre that we have not become an academy driven club, given our relatively meagre resources. I find it bizarre.

Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 17/04/2022 at 10:53:35
I wouldn't say 'failed', Michael. Could do better. We could and should.

I rate Cresswell and have done for several years. Great a set-piece delivery as we found to our disadvantage recently.

Danny O’Neill
48 Posted 17/04/2022 at 11:00:55
My wife worked at Anfield as well as my sister. Going back to the 90s there was a high percentage of season ticket holders from the rest of the UK and Ireland in particular.

Call it good marketing, but they actively promoted accommodated a weekend coach trip from Ireland who would spend (literally) the morning in the club shop before the match over a local who went the match and went home or spent their money in a local pub rather than at the ground.

Tony Abrahams
49 Posted 17/04/2022 at 11:12:56
Kopites are like Cockneys, Danny, with the only difference being that working class Londoners could no longer afford to live in their own city. I don't know what excuses Liverpudlians have got for only having around 6,500 season tickets with a Merseyside postcode!

I reckon more scouse Liverpudlians own a flag rather than own a season ticket, you know the ones, the people that take pride in believing they've got the greatest fans in the world!!

Steve Brown
50 Posted 17/04/2022 at 11:55:39
Tony A, the shite have 5,832 season ticket holders with a Merseyside post code. Even less than you thought!

For Chelsea, I think their Academy is a volume game. They have had 50 Academy players play in the first team during the Abramovitch era, as part of a deliberate ploy as part of their strategy. They vacuum up young talent across Europe, develop them in the Academy, loan them out systematically then sell them to reinvest the funds in buying Champions League ready players.

Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 17/04/2022 at 12:03:17
They’ve definitely got more flags then Steve!

Looking at those stats on Chelsea, it’s clear they have created a business inside a business, otherwise known has having a plan.

Michael Kenrick
52 Posted 17/04/2022 at 12:52:19
Danny (and Robert),

You're making out that it should be some production line where all you have to do is feed in very young talent at one end and out pops somewhat older young talent, ready to rip up trees in the Premier League at the other end.

We did it once: Wayne Rooney. Everyone accepts he was a once-in-a-lifetime absolute genius protege. Even then, Moyes very nearly fucked it all up for him... but I digress. The corollary is that we had 1,000 Wayne Rooneys and we've fucked up 999 of them through bad coaching. Is that what "could be better" means?

It comes to the quality of player we are able to recruit. Maybe we are doing our best, maybe not. Even if you were intimately involved on a daily basis, I would challenge your ability to determine that. It varies case by case. Every story is different (see Cresswell above).

"Taking my blue-tinted glasses off, youth coaches can only hope they help players to go on and forge a career in the professional game. Ideally with Everton, but if not, you have helped them on their way." – That should be the measure of a successful academy, and by that standard, I don't believe we are doing anywhere near as badly as you two make out.

Tony Abrahams
53 Posted 17/04/2022 at 13:33:17
I think Ball, Dunne, Jeffers, Rooney and Rodwell was a very good period for Everton, and probably helped keep the club from going under, and proves there is a lot of serious talent in this region. I’m basing this on Liverpool also having similar success just before this period, with Fowler, McManaman, Owen, then Gerard and Carragher.

It looks like Chelsea threw a lot of money at it, but had a proper plan in place, redeveloping their whole system, including bringing in top coaches, which would have also helped their own coaches, who would have had to either leave, or reach a much higher level?

I go back to what Marcel Brands once said, and money can make you lazy, and it’s probably also disillusioned a lot people as well, because it’s definitely got in the way of a clear pathway for most young footballers, trying to make the grade in the richest league in the world.

My own view is that around 1% of all young footballers are “absolutely destined” to reach the big league, and I’m a great believer in the message behind the film “trading places” staring Eddie Murphy, (who I can’t stand!) because my own belief is that with time, effort and the correct mentors, you could definitely bring that figure up by a few percent, at least?

Danny O’Neill
54 Posted 17/04/2022 at 13:50:53
I don't believe we are doing that badly Michael.

I just think we can and should want to do better.

As a youth set up, as an academy, as a club.

It goes back to having a system from top to bottom. What are we? Who do we want to be? What is our identity on the pitch?

Danny O’Neill
55 Posted 17/04/2022 at 13:51:06
I don't believe we are doing that badly Michael.

I just think we can and should want to do better.

As a youth set up, as an academy, as a club.

It goes back to having a system from top to bottom. What are we? Who do we want to be? What is our identity on the pitch?

Robert Tressell
56 Posted 17/04/2022 at 14:17:41
Michael, surely it's a realistic goal to have a Gordon quality player every 2 or 3 years and a Kenny quality player every 1 or 2 years. That is about 1/3rd of the recent success rate of Chelsea.

That would help us build a better squad without paying huge fees for good players and pretty high fees for very average ones.

I honestly don't believe that this requires a better quality of 7 year old at the start of the conveyor belt either.

I think it really will have a lot to do with coaching and wider development (tactical education and education generally).

You're right that none of us are well placed to judge the day to day coaching but the style at u23s (or lack of it) indicates that there are significant improvements to be made in the coaching throughout the academy.

We have some decent individual players but we don't use the ball at all well as a team.

Players like Onyango, Welch, Whitaker, Price and Warrington look capable of playing a more sophisticated brand of football than we are delivering - which is closer to what is required for them to be successful in the Premier League.

Obviously places like Ajax, Real, PSG and Barca are ridiculously successful in youth development - maybe that is too much to expect. But I like think we could compete with the likes of Schalke, Lyon, Rennes and others if investment is placed into coaching / youth development.

Surely that should be a big part of what this club should be about. The fact it is difficult or challenging or something for the medium to long term is not a reason to give up. My hope is that this is what the arrival of Nicholson is all about.

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