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Youngsters not ready to play for Everton

Koeman thinks gap between U-23s and Premier League is too big

Everton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Everton manager Ronald Koeman has admitted that he has an aging side, but feels the youngsters who have been in fine form for David Unsworth in the Toffees Under-23 side are not ready to make it on the Premier League stage as yet.

“We have some players close to the end of their career but still they are important players for the team.

“They are players with a lot of personality.

“Of course we look to the squad and we look what we need. It is impossible to change everything or to change a lot in one summer. We need at least this winter and we need the next summer to make changes in this club.

“That is also about the older players. We have Phil Jagielka, Gareth Barry, Leighton Baines that are more than 30 but of course Baines is still in a good physical way, Jag is in a good physical way and Gareth is still the player who runs the most distance in the game.

“Of course we have young players but when is it time for a young player?

“I don’t believe now because still they are not ready and the pressure is more on than it was. It is a reason we need to wait when we make these kind of decisions (on young players).”

He went on to say that he has been keeping a close eye on the youth side, which is top of the Premier League 2 right now.

“What we do is analysing young players, it is about Tom Davies, it is about Kieran Dowell, it’s about Liam Walsh, it’s about Dominic (Calvert-Lewin) the striker, (Jonjoe) Kenny the right full-back,” Koeman said.

“The Under-23 competition cannot be compared to the Premier League. They train a lot of times with the first team and if there is a moment that they show they are on the level of other players in their position then I will give them the chance. It is also a physical question about young players. Everyday we have the contact with David Unsworth and they need time.”