ToffeeWeb Loanwatch – March

24/03/2023 19comments  |  Jump to last

The Run-In

The Legit Up & Comers group

Lewis Dobbin (#18). Derby County. Turned 20 in January. Contract thru June 2025.

With 9 games to go, Derby sits in 5th place. I have to say that among the various lower league teams our players are loaned out to, including Dele and Gbamin in Turkey, Derby is the best organized, attacking, and fun team to watch. Little “kick and rush” or “head down and just hit it” that's prevalent at that level.

Article continues below video content

Subbed in vs Charleton on 18 FEB.

Subbed in at 61 minutes vs Barnsley on 25 FEB.

Subbed out at 77 minutes vs Cheltenham on 28 FEB.

Nice run and pass began sequence leading to Derby goal starting at 0:39.

Nice run off the ball to be in position for cross Lewis finished into the upper right corner starting at 1:40.


Subbed out at 90+7 minutes vs Shrewsbury on 4 MAR.

Nice cross into box starting at 3:13.

Dobbin pass began sequence that ended with his fine header stopped by keeper's fantastic finger-tip save starting at 9:59.


Subbed in at 61 minutes vs Plymouth Argyle on 7 MAR.

Subbed in at 87 minutes vs Oxford United on 11 MAR.

Subbed in at 62 minutes vs Fleetwood Town on 18 MAR.

Has now appeared in 45 games for Derby this season. Coming from U-Ball at 19, I expected fatigue to catch up to him. Lewis is basically used as a super-sub now, so perhaps it has. Still playing very well, though. And can't go back to League 1 next season. Needs to move up to the Championship for a harder physical challenge. Barring injury, expect to see Dobbin in the First Team come the 2024-2025 season.

Jarrad Branthwaite (#22). PSV. Turns 21 in June. Contract thru June 2025.

With 8 games to go, PSV sits 3rd in the Europa League qualifying round position and 2 points off a Champions League qualifying round. Winning the league may be too far as they're 8 points off the top.

Played 90 minutes vs Sevilla on 16 FEB.

Subbed out at 71 minutes vs Utrecht on 19 FEB.

In 14-second sequence, he makes 3 blocks in the box starting at 6:31.

Cleared ball at 8:09.

Puts in aggressive tackle starting at 8:54, but nothing dangerous. Opponent goes down like gunshot victim and gets Jarrad a yellow card.


Played 90 minutes vs Sevilla on 23 FEB.

Headed clearance at 2:01.

Headed clearance at 2:09

Lost man, but keeper blocked shot starting at 2:50.


Played 90 minutes vs Twente on 26 FEB.

Headed corner wide starting at 4:47.

PSV's 19-year old Bakayoko is a serious handful on the wing. Have we been rumoured with this kid? Him and their other 19-year old Xavi would do nicely.


Played 90 minutes vs Den Haag on 2 MAR.

Nice pass into box. Teammate puts it past the keeper starting at 3:13.


Played 90 minutes vs RKC Waalwijk on 5 MAR.

Jarrad does some good things.


Played 90 minutes vs Cambuur on 12 MAR.

Subbed out at 61' vs Vitesse on 19 MAR.

Locked-in First-11 at PSV now. With our 4 veteran CBs signed thru at least 2025, will Jarrad go back out on loan? Couldn't hurt. He is only 20. Would Dyche play a CB that young and inexperienced? We'll see. I say what's the rush? Send him back out, but only to a good club, so he has to fight his way into the side. Of course, we may get an offer for him we can't refuse.

Tom Cannon (#28). Preston NE. Turned 20 in December. Contract thru 2025.

With 8 games left, PNE is going nowhere. Well clear of the drop and while the arithmetic says they have a shot at the playoffs, a whole lot has to go in their favor for that to happen.

Subbed out at 89 minues vs Luton Town on 15 FEB.

Took pass, sprinted in and shot across the keeper with his left foot, just outside the right post starting at 2:00. This boy is quick!!


Played 90 minutes vs Hull City on 18 FEB.

Played 90 minutes vs Wigan Athletic on 25 FEB.

Played in pass to teammate fouled by keeper for penalty starting at 1:00.

Took long pass from teammate, ran past defender and sent shot across the keeper that landed just inside the left upright starting at 1:40.


Subbed out at 74 minutes vs Coventry on 28 FEB.

Subbed in at 69 minutes vs Watford on 4 MAR.

Played 90 minutes vs Cardiff City on 11 MAR.

Nice back-heel pass in traffic to teammate for shot on goal starting at :52.

On a 50/50 ball, fought off defender, took ball under control and nice finish into upper-right of goal starting at 1:16.

On 50/50 ball with keeper, drew foul got keeper a red card. Subsequent free-kick led to goal by teammate.


Subbed out at 85' vs Rotherham on 14 MAR.

Nice tap-in for goal from teammate's headed pass starting at :08.

Kept the ball moving to teammate who scored with nice left-footed shot past keeper starting at 1:06.


Played 90 minutes vs Midllesbrough on 18 MAR.

Nice pass to teammate for shot past the left- upright starting at 2:36.


I think we have something in this youngster. In big-league terms, Tom is raw for sure (understandably). Athletically, he's transitioned from kiddie-ball to the Championship seamlessly. He's pacy and quick both and can control and smack the ball with either foot. And no mistake, young Cannon WANTS the ball. We need to find him a bigger challenge somewhere next season, a club fighting for honors, rather than a “going nowhere” club like PNE.


The Do Well, Find a Club Next Summer group

Alli, Gomes, and Gbamin all have one more year to go after this at a cumulative £300k per week. Yet, the club has no plans for them. I blame none of them for taking the money. It was offered. The club has to do so much better in recruitment.

Dele Alli (#11) Besiktas. Contract thru June 2024.
Besiktas is in 3rd place, in a battle for Champions League or Europa League qualification. Due to the earthquake, two teams have dropped out of the league. Any remaining games those two had, their scheduled opponent is awarded the 3 points.

Subbed out at 46' vs Antalyaspor on 26 FEB.

Nice run and pass up the flank, then continues running to box for return pass chested down and shot with left foot saved by keeper.


DNP Didn't make the bench vs Ankaragucu on 5 MAR.

DNP Didn't make the bench vs Istanbul Basaksehi on 12 MAR.

DNP Didn't make the bench vs Istanbulspor on 18 MAR.

Besiktas's hump of a manager just took yet another shot at Dele in the Press yesterday. Claimed Dele didn't show for practice “because it was raining”. Nice. Turns out Alli had written permission from the club to miss practice for a medical appointment.

Andre Gomes (#28) LOSC. Contract thru June 2024.
LOSC is in 6th place, in battle for Europa qualification.

Played 90 minutes vs Lyon on 8 FEB.

Subbed in at 74 minutes vs Strasbourg on 12 FEB.

Played 90 minutes vs PSG on 19 FEB.

Beautiful cross by Gomes into box, headed in by teammate starting at 1:20.
Gorgeous long pass by Gomes sends teammate thru for goal starting at 2:11.


Played 90 minutes vs Brest on 24 FEB.

Subbed out at 70' vs Lens on 4 MAR.

Beautiful left-footed pass sends teammate thru for shot blocked by keeper.


Played 90 minutes vs Lyon on 10 MAR.

Played 90 minutes vs Toulouse on 18 MAR.

Andre is pretty much locked-in LOSC 1st 11. He remains an excellent footballer with slow feet. With another season left on a big money contract, be interesting to see if the Club can get him a deal this Summer. Or maybe with Onana and Gueye doing the defensive work, Andre can contribute to our team.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (#25) Trabzonspor. Contract thru June 2024.
Trabzonspor is in 5th place, in battle for Europa qualification. Due to the earthquake, two teams have dropped out of the league. Any remaining games those two had, their scheduled opponent is awarded the 3 points.

DNP Made the bench vs Basel on 16 FEB.

DNP Made the bench vs Basel on 23 FEB.

DNP Made the bench vs Umraniye on 4 MAR.

DNP Made the bench vs Adana Demispor on 12 MAR.

Subbed in at 79 minutes vs Gaziantep on 19 MAR.

Jean-Philippe missed some games in January with knee soreness. Has been fit since but played only a few minutes. Doesn't appear on that club's injury list or as some “problem-child”. Manager is picking different DMs than him. One year left on his contract. Hopefully the Club and his agent can find Jean-Phillipe a new home this Summer.

Niels Nkounkou (#37). Saint-Etienne. Turned 22 in NOV. Contract thru June 2024.
With 10 games to go, Saint-Etienne sit mid-table and far away from possible promotion to Ligue 1.
Subbed out at 70 minutes vs Nimes on 20 FEB.

Nice finish for goal starting at 1:15
Inch-perfect long pass sent teammate thru for goal starting at 1:53. This kid has some left foot.


Played 90 minutes vs Pau on 25 FEB.

Played 90 minutes vs Bordeaux on 4 MAR. [No video available.]

Played 90 minutes vs Amiens SC on 11 MAR.

Great run and shot for goal starting at 2:19.


Played 90 minutes vs Le Havre on 18 MAR.
Nice run at goal, shook defender, then shot to far post saved by keeper starting at :30.

Saved long diagonal from going out of bounds. While in the air, tapped ball across goal-mouth for simple tap-in by teammate starting at 2:32.


St Etienne has pushed Niels out of the corner and up on the flank, and are reaping the rewards. Given our squad is not exactly deep in talent, I would like to see him play out his contract as a late-game winger for us. His left foot really is terrific and he has pace/quickness. Why not? My guess, though, is that whoever comes in for him this Summer, a deal will be cut. 

Joao Virginia (#1). Cambuur. Turns 24 in October. Contract thru June 2024.
Played his last game on 21 January. After which the manager said, “He has made too many of the same kinds of mistakes in recent weeks, which made the team restless.” Not good. Hasn't played since. One year left on his contract, the club will have to find someone somewhere to take Joao on loan for his last season with us. He's 24 come October and will never be big-league quality.

Lewis Warrington (#16). Fleetwood Town. Turned 20 in October. Contract thru June 2024.
With 9 games to go, Fleetwood are going nowhere. Sat equi-distant from relegation and promotion playoffs.

Played 90 minutes vs Peterborough on 14 FEB.

Played 90 minutes vs Plymouth Argyle on 18 FEB.

Played 90 minutes vs Cambridge United 21 FEB.

Subbed out at 90 minutes vs Morecambe on 25 FEB.

Played 90 minutes vs Burnley on 1 MAR.

Subbed out at 57 minutes vs Cheltenham on 4 MAR.

Subbed out at 79 minutes  vs Wycombe on 7 MAR.

Subbed out at 46 minutes vs Port Vale on 11 MAR.

Played 90 minutes vs Derby County on 18 MAR.

A locked-on First-11 regular, Lewis has played both sides of a 2 in front of a back-4, both inside spots as part of a 4 in front of a back 3, and on the right of a 3 in front of a back-4, and in the #10 spot. In skill, size and athleticism, however, Lewis appears to be playing at the right level; League One. 

Ryan Astley (#5). Accrington Stanley. Turned 21 in October. Contract thru 2023.
With 9 games to go, Accrington Stanley are 1 point clear of the drop and not getting results. After missing 4 games, Ryan returned to the starting line-up and continued piling up minutes as a first-team regular.

Unfortunately, he went down on 4 February with a bad ankle injury. He's missed the last 10 games. Ryan is out-of-contract on 1 July, so hopefully heals up, gets back in the lineup for the run-in and is healthy in the Summer when looking for a club.

Lewis Gibson (#17) Bristol Rovers. Turned 22 in July. Contract thru June 2023.
With 9 games to go, Rovers are mid-table and well-clear of the drop. Gibson was out for 8 games with yet another injury, but has returned to the first XI for the last 5 games thru 18 March. A fine talent who can't stay on the pitch. Hope he stays healthy for the run-in and finds a club this Summer.


Reader Comments (19)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 17/03/2023 at 21:07:56
It finished 1-1, a good point. Wouldn’t mind the same score tomorrow.
Jamie Sweet
2 Posted 24/03/2023 at 02:05:39
Another great update thanks James. I definitely think these updates of yours should be given more prominence on the home page.

Niels Nkounkou is a bit of a strange one. When you have a full-back who looks great going forward but is terrible at defending, you really have to question whether they should have ever been a full-back in the first place!

Since being given a more advanced role at St Etienne, in 9 starts he has 2 goals and 4 assists and a Fotmob average match rating of 7.74. For context only one player in the whole of Ligue 2 has a higher rating than that.

I remember one of his early League Cup appearances for us (v Fleetwood?) where he would have had about 5 assists if we had a decent striker in the box. He looked absolutely electric going forward.

I hope we haven't given up on him yet. I think there's a real player in there somewhere... just not a real defender!

James Flynn
3 Posted 24/03/2023 at 02:50:03
Jamie - Yes Niels is a bit of an odd one.

3 years into his contract, though, he hasn't been given a sniff at the 1st-Team.

Since he has only one year left under contract, why not let him play it out coming off the bench on the left wing here and there? As I mentioned above, it's not like the roster is stacked with attacking talent. Keep in mind, Niels isn't inclined to try hard defensively and Dyche would never put up with that. Which is fair.

That said, I believe form will hold and Niels will be either loaned out again for his last season or leave in the Summer if another club comes in for him.

David Bromwell
4 Posted 24/03/2023 at 07:59:58
I am a big fan of your posts, James, and always try to keep up to date with the progress of all our young players. I don't understand why the club don't produce updates, but then again that's unfortunately what we have come to expect.

It always seems to me that there is a very large staff at Finch Farm, and quite what they all do, I do wonder. In the meantime, James, you and other regular contributors continue to make ToffeeWeb essential reading for anyone who wants detailed analysis of how the club is run.

Tony Everan
5 Posted 24/03/2023 at 08:09:30
Thanks James, really good to get this this detailed update throughout the season.

Cannon doing well, it's going to be very interesting to see if he can take it to the next level over the next year or so. There will be no shortage of options for loan deal this summer. The level of team he goes to has to be balanced with the necessity for game time. If he gets 15-20 in the Championship next season, he will force his way into our first team reckoning.

Dobbin and Warrington need to have a breakout season next year.

Branthwaite is a different proposition, he's going to the top, Dyche will be torn about whether to introduce him as a fixture next season at 21. The Premier League is tough as hell and he will be stress tested to the max.

Dyche likes his solid no-nonsense centre-backs, he will be assessing whether Jarrad had the physicality and robustness built in at this early age.

What do we do? We have back the player to be a lynchpin of our future. Get him back in June, give him a full pre-season, getting stronger still, and back the lad for better or for worse for a full season getting blooded to be our permanent left-side centre-back for the next 10 years.

There will be some ups and downs but there is huge long-term gain to be had.

Robert Tressell
6 Posted 24/03/2023 at 12:27:47
Another great round-up, James.

I don't there's anyone in this group who will be part of the squad next season.

Gomes needs to stay at Lille and hopefully we'll get a a few million as well as the saving on his wages for the final year of his contract.

Warrington is probably worth another loan. Such a likeable player but he's only a bit younger than Onana. Unless he's looking like prime Xavi or Busquets at this level his career path will probably be more like Ledson, Lundstram, Walsh and Williams etc. All of those kids had quality too. Maybe Warrington can get a loan at a higher level and kick on? Big ask but worth a shot.

Robert Tressell
7 Posted 24/03/2023 at 12:42:09
Ps. Comments above only relate to the "find a club next summer" group. Not the "legit up and comers".

Personally I think Branthwaite must start for us next season - if we can persuade him to stay.

Cannon's progress is pleasing but not sure what you have seen from Dobbin at Derby to suggest he'll be a first teamer with us. Next season he needs to add genuine end product to his play to stand a chance.

James Flynn
8 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:28:47
I forgot these two youngsters.

The Maybe group

Harry Tyrer (Chester FC). 21-years old. Contract thru June 2025.
With 7 games to go, Chester sits 5 points off the top playoff spot (2nd place) and 8 points clear of the last playoff spot (7th place). 21-years old, Harry has now played 46 games thru 18 March; 4140 minutes. He’s on track to log 53-56 games this season. Club needs to find Harry a League 1 club, at least, for next season.

Tyler Onyango (#12). Forest Green. I Turned 21 three weeks ago. Contract thru 2025.
Tore hamstring vs Morecambe on 11 FEB.
Happens on video link starting at :10. Tyler has returned to the Club and is likely out for the rest of the season.

My view remains that Tyler improved his game at Burton Albion as he settled in and adjusted to the pro game after only U-Team ball. Started with a lot of DNPs, then gradually worked his way into the First-11 rotation. Continued at Forest Green until hammy popped. Hope the Club finds him a Championship club next season for another loan season.

Dennis Stevens
9 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:37:49
Marvellous stuff, James. Always interested to know how our lads on loan are faring & you seem to be the one reliable, comprehensive source of information - please keep up the good work!
James Flynn
10 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:40:57
David, kind words. Thank you.

Even if the Club did update on the players, you wouldn't see the kind of comments we supporters give. I'd guess it would be the usual player-interview speak. "I'm desperate to impress", "The lads have been brilliants", "We're all here to win things" etc, blah, blah.

And I doubt anything I type is "essential reading", but the site itself is my go-to for all things Evertonia.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:49:23
James (various) thanks for all the information and the tremendous amount of work you put in to these reports, I think you deserve a job as James Vaughan’s assistant, at least, I certainly hope James does as good as yourself in watching our on loan players!!
James Flynn
12 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:50:37
Tony (5) - My view is that Cannon and Dobbins are still raw. Need another year loan-out to the Championship or even, like Jarrad to another country.

But also to an ambitious club where they have to fight their way in the First-11 rotation.

Branthwaite? Your guess is as good as mine. Not his potential, but our logjam at his position. The Club has a lot of money invested there for 2-3 more years, unless at least one of them looks elsewhere for more playing team and leaves.

I'm glad Jarrad went to PSV and fought his way into the First-11. But there's the difference between Ruud's view of defending in an all-out attacking team and Dyche's view with us.

For all his potential, Jarrad remains raw, too. Come the Summer, we'll see what happens.

James Flynn
13 Posted 24/03/2023 at 14:53:19
Dennis, I've enjoyed compiling the data. My comments though are strictly personal (and unprofessional) opinion.
Dennis Stevens
14 Posted 24/03/2023 at 15:06:56
I appreciate your honesty, James. However, your opinions tend to come across as reasonably considered - or is that just in your writing style?!
James Flynn
15 Posted 24/03/2023 at 20:01:36
Robert (6) (7),

I agree on Warrington. Think your comparison to some of our other youth who've left the club is accurate.

With 1 year left on his contract, wouldn't surprise me if Fleetwood Town or another lower-level club comes in for him this Summer. Lewis is a neat little footballer, just not a top-league talent.

As to Dobbin, his finishing for sure needs work. No doubt about that. But it is something he can work on and improve. As I mentioned above, we need to find him a Championship Club hot for promotion to the Premier League and let's see what he can do.

2024-25 season, I'm hoping he's ready for the First Team. We'll see.

He, Cannon, and Branthwaite are all just 20 years old. I say, "What's the rush?" Send them back out to good clubs and let them develop.

Away from that, since you like to look around Europe at players, have you run the rule over PSV's Xavi and Bakayoko?

James Flynn
16 Posted 24/03/2023 at 20:08:31
Dave (11) - You're welcome.

I applied for the assistant's position with Vaughn. Turns out you can't work from home! Oh well.

James Flynn
17 Posted 24/03/2023 at 20:10:07

If by "reasonably considered", you mean rushed and uncaring, that's me.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 24/03/2023 at 20:31:11
James, it'd be great if Cannon and / or Dobbin could kick in from here.

As for Branthwaite, the rush might be on his part rather than ours. He'll be a highly sought-after commodity this summer. If we don't convince him he's got a starting place, then I expect he'll leave. He may leave anyway, which would be a real shame.

As for Xavi Simons, he's found a good place to develop after PSG and I think he'll spend another season on two at PSV before moving on to a big Champions League club. He wouldn't be interested in us unfortunately but we can still get very high-quality players in if we look in the right places.

James Flynn
19 Posted 24/03/2023 at 21:32:37
Robert (18) - Yes, the Branthwaite situation will be interesting to see this Summer.

Maybe we can do as suggested with Branthwaite and tell Holgate he's not in the club's plans.

If Dyche stays with Keane and Tarkowski, they'll both need a blow here and there. There's a way to keep Jarrad at least for a while.

Too bad on Xavi. He sure doesn't play like a teen.

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