Everton have enjoyed a decent debut campaign under Ronald Koeman. The Toffees finished seventh in the table and the team looked far more balanced than in previous seasons under Roberto Martinez.
One of the major plus points of Koeman’s first campaign on Merseyside was that a number of youngsters, notably midfielder Tom Davies, that were used in the first team. The Dutchman was criticised for not using more of Southampton’s youngsters.
However, the likes of Davies, Mason Holgate and striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin were all been given regular pitch time, while young right-back Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman have all been giving fleeting appearances.
Koeman was actually criticised for not using young Lookman more after signing the winger from Charlton in January.
England under-20 players
At this moment in time, five Everton players are away on international duty with England at the under-20 World Cup. The Lion Cubs are through to the quarter-finals of the competition after a brace from Lookman saw off Costa Rica 2-1.
It is not just Lookman that impressed for England, though, as Kenny impressed at full-back and Calvert-Lewin also produced a promising display. Attacking midfielder Kieran Dowell also featured in the team that defeated Costa Rica.
All-in-all it has been a good tournament for England and Everton’s representatives in the England squad. All four players have enhanced their reputations at the World Cup, while defender Calum Connolly is also in Paul Simpson’s squad.
Under-23’s are champions
I suppose it makes sense that Everton have five players in the England under-20 squad, as the Toffees under-23 side won the Premier League 2. The likes of Kenny, Connolly and Dowell have been regulars in the underage group this season.
Former Everton centre-back David Unsworth has done a sterling job as the under-23 boss. Nicknamed ‘Rhino’ during his playing days Unsworth has kept his young players grounded and seems to have a talented group of players on his hands.
Everton fans are hopeful that a number of the academy graduates and young signings like Lookman and Calvert-Lewin can become first team regulars in the future.
Young right-back Jonjoe Kenny may have the ideal opportunity to challenge for a first-team spot at the start of next season. Regular right-back Seamus Coleman will be sidelined through injury until October.
Another youngster Holgate has been filling in for Coleman at right-back. However, the former Barnsley defender seems more suited to a centre-back role than that of a full-back. Kenny enjoying a spell in the starting line-up until Coleman is fit may well prove to be a good move for all involved.
Everton seem to have a bright future
Everything seems to now be moving in the right direction for Everton. They have a talented boss in Ronald Koeman, an ambitious majority shareholder in Farhad Moshiri and a promising group of young players.
One negative is that first team stars Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley want to leave the club. However, they will be replaced. Everton have lost talented players in the past and a number of them have realised that the grass is not greener on the other side of the fence.
Everton’s youngsters may be talented, but the Toffees face a difficult task in challenging for a top-four position next season, which they are odds of 9/1 to achieve in the new season.
Hopefully, the Toffees youngsters can push on next season and boss Ronald Koeman continues to give his more talented young players playing time next season.
If they are given playing time it can be good for the player’s development, their club and even the national side. Often English players are overhyped. However, in Unsworth and Koeman these young players have the ideal mentors to keep their feet on the ground, which could help them fulfil their potential.
Will any of Everton’s under-20 international be first regulars next season?
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