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Koeman reiterates Everton commitment to youth

Manager speaks in his weekly column with De Telegraaf

Sunderland v Everton - Premier League
Ronald Koeman applauds the fans
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Everton will keep the interests of the young players in the squad first and foremost, even if it means not signing new players in the transfer window. Manager Ronald Koeman, who came under fire at Southampton for ignoring and then criticizing the famed youth system there, has insisted that he wanted young players to get every chance to show their potential.

In recent weeks, he became the first manager in the Premier League this season to start a game with two teenagers, and has continued to use all three in rotation - Tom Davies, new signing Ademola Lookman and the currently injured Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Another youngster Mason Holgate has also seen plenty of playing time in defence.

Speaking through his weekly column in the Dutch paper De Telegraaf, he said today -

“As a coach, I see if a new signing can hinder the development of a new talent. We can go and sign again, but in six months a talent might just be ready.

“Then you want to give him perspective. I think it’s nice to see the young players from their own training centres in England knock on the door.

“I want to give them confidence. In England, they generally hesitate, and don’t play young players too early. But as a Dutchman, I just don’t hesitate to give them a chance.”

He also went on to praise the attitude of young players in England -

“The Premier League has made many foreign purchases and sometimes that’s inevitable, but I get to see the appreciation of everything just by walking in the training ground.

“I admire the attitude, the mentality and behaviour of the young English footballers. They go like the fire, you don’t need to do anything to their motivation and I have to slow them down rather than push ahead. They possess a certain character that you don’t see in the Netherlands or in other countries. It’s a different culture.”