Striker Chris Long hopes to become the latest Everton youth graduate to break into the first team at Goodison Park this season.
The 19-year-old was handed his chance with the senior team during pre-season and claimed Everton’s only goal in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Paderborn.
Having received a pass from Leighton Baines on the left edge of the penalty area, the young striker spun away from his marker and nonchalantly fired into the top corner.
Long has scored goals at all levels for Everton since joining the club aged five and was part of England’s Under-20 World Cup squad alongside Ross Barkley and John Stones, who have since gone on to receive senior international recognition.
The ambitious Long is now hoping to earn a regular place in Roberto Martinez’s first-team squad at Goodison Park.
“I want to prove to the manager that I can play this season,” he is quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo. “I look up to John Stones and Ross Barkley because I went to the World Cup with them a year ago and look how far they’ve come since then.
“I just need to work hard and keep on developing. I have got to spend time with the first team during pre-season so in the short term my goal is to make my full competitive debut for Everton.
“I’m not looking too far ahead or getting carried away. I’m just setting short-term goals.”
Barkley was a member of England’s World Cup squad in Brazil, while Stones made Roy Hodgson’s provisional 30-man squad before being named as a standby player for the global showpiece.