With the British media painting the Top 6 clubs as the hub of English talent, people are quick to forget what Goodison Park holds.
Gareth Southgate’s squad at the 2018 World Cup was a far cry from the golden generation in the 2000s. Ironically it was arguably England’s worst squad to have participated in a major competition despite reaching further than any Three Lions side has done so for quite some time. The spotlight for England’s future has been on talent dwelling in the squads of the Top 6 or out on loan. Mason Mount, Harry Wilson, Reiss Nelson, Harry Winks, Phil Foden and Angel Gomes are just a handful of names media outlets have their eyes firmly on, labeling them as the next big things for the country.
However, in terms of English players, Everton are among the best in the country. From talented youth academy graduates to bargain buys from the lower leagues, not many clubs do it better than The Blues. Here are 5 names in their squad that are exciting prospects for the future of English football:
Holgate began his career at League 1 outfit Barnsley coming through their youth academy and breaking into their first team. A fine 2014/15 campaign saw him win Young Player of the Year and attract interest from several Premier League clubs.
Following a trial at Manchester United, Everton snapped him up for just £2 million in August 2015. Since then, the 21-year-old has featured 42 times in all competitions for Toffees as well as earned 6 caps for the England U21s. Not a starter yet, Holgate is improving game by game and certainly is a young talent on Merseyside.
The first academy graduate on this list, Kenny has been at Goodison Park since he was 9, working his way up the ranks from the youth academy to the senior team. After graduating in 2014, he spent 2015/16 on loan at Wigan and Oxford, gaining the experience needed to return to Merseyside.
2016/17 only amounted to one appearance for Kenny, but 2017/18 saw him make 20 appearances in all competitions and have a far more prominent role in the Blues’ defence. The Under 20 World Cup winner has potential and plenty of time to learn, especially as an understudy to the ever so consistent Seamus Coleman
After playing for Waterloo and Charlton in his youth, the striker impressed for in his two seasons at The Valley, scoring 10 goals in 45 appearances as a 19-year-old.
Everton snapped up Lookman for £11 million in January, a record fee for a League 1 player putting the spotlight on him from the get-go. He made a scintillating start to his Everton career with a goal on his debut against Manchester City, as a substitute in his side’s thumping victory.
In search of more game time the following season, the forward went on loan to RB Leipzig where he was sublime. 5 goals in 11 appearances showcased his talent, with the German side trying their level best to sign him permanently in the summer.
Now, 21, Lookman has huge potential and is perhaps the most talented English player The Blues have in their ranks. An under 20 World Cup winner too, the sky is the limit for the Toffees’ promising attacker.
The second academy product on this list, Tom Davies began his career with Tranmere Rovers’ youth team before joining Everton’s setup for the next 6 years. At just 17 years of age, he was given his professional debut in a substitute appearance against Southampton in April 2016, a testament to the talent he has.
Davies went from strength to strength in 2016/17, his breakout season to the rest of the league. He assisted a goal in the Toffees’ 3-0 win over Southampton before a Man of the Match performance, including a goal, against Manchester City in a memorable 4-0 victory at Goodison Park. More impressive performances followed for the young midfielder which rewarded him with Everton’s Young Player of the Year award.
45 appearances in 2017/18 showed progression for Davies who is transitioning from a squad player to a first team starter. Now 20, The Blues midfielder already has a large amount of experience under his belt and has plenty of time to push for an international call-up.
The final academy graduate on this list, Dowell made 2 league appearances in 2015/16 for Everton at just 18 years of age. Yet after no appearances the following season, he left Goodison on loan to Forest in 2017/18 to play week in week out.
He quickly became a fan favourite in Nottingham with consistent performances, including a game-winning hat-trick against Hull. 10 goals in 32 appearances by January (all competitions) were very impressive figures in an inconsistent Forest side. Yet just 11 appearances followed from January until the end of the season which saw a drop off in form for the Evertonian.
He has returned to the Toffees since registering just one Carabao Cup appearance this season thus far. Despite a lack of first-team football at the moment, Dowell evidently has the technical ability and with a run of games, may develop into a fine player in the future.