Everton’s squad to face Apollon Limassol in their last group game of the Europa League will be quite unfamiliar to all but the most ardent fans. With Sam Allardyce choosing to hold back most first team players to prepare them for the Merseyside Derby on Sunday, there’s a distinct tinge of youth about the squad, and not just Under-23s but Under 18s are in this side.
Robles, Hewelt, Feeney, Schneiderlin, Baningime, Klaassen, Besic, Mirallas, Vlasic, Lookman, Charsley, Hornby, Denny, Broadhead, Duke-McKenna, Collins, Lavery, Gordon.
Joel Robles, Morgan Schneiderlin, Davy Klaassen, Muhamed Besic, Kevin Mirallas, Nikola Vlasic and Ademola Lookman we all know. Morgan Feeney and Beni Baningime have been in the senior matchday squads lately and we’re familiar with them too, but are added to the list below.
Mateusz Hewelt, GK, 21
The goalie was the anchor of David Unsworth’s Under-23 Premier League 2 title winners, and has often been on the bench when either Joel Robles or Maarten Stekelenburg have been unavailable. Has been upstaged by Louis Gray this season.
Morgan Feeney, CB, 18
The young defender has practiced often with the seniors especially during the injury crisis last month. Bootle-born and a season ticket holder, he made his full senior debut in the Blues’ last Europa League game at Goodison Park, and is in line to make a full start today.
Michael Collins, CB, 17
Collins has been a key member of the Blues Under-18 side this season, featuring in eight games and scoring a goal and adding an assist as well. He’ll likely be on the bench this evening.
Alex Denny, CDM, 17
Another mainstay of the Under-18 side, Denny also has a goal and an assist. He could be the next player to break through to the upper echelons following a starring performance for the England Under-17s as they marched to the final of the European Under-17 Championship earlier this year.
Beni Baningime, CDM, 19
The latest in the line of youngsters who have made an early mark on the senior side, Baningime has shown enormous potential at the defensive midfielder position. One of the brightest prospects in the Academy, he has already featured in five games for the senior squad.
Also, who can forget this.
Harry Charsley, CM, 21
The midfielder has been with the Blues since the age of 9, and has been a key part of the Under-18s title win in 2013-14 and the Under-23s title win last season. He actually scored the championship-winning goal to end up as Unsworth’s top scorer with seven goals.
Stephen Duke-McKenna, RM, 17
The Liverpool-born winger has picked up a goal along with four assists for the Blues Under-18 side this season.
Anthony Gordon, AM, 16
One of the stars of Paul Tait’s Under-18s, he’s scored 12 goals with 2 assists in just 10 games in the Under-Premier League, leading the Blues into second place. The England Under-15 international has been scoring goals in bunches all season and could get a senior cameo later this evening.
Fraser Hornby, AM, 18
Often used out on the left wing, the creative midfielder has picked up 13 youth international caps for Scotland, and has even broken into the Under-23 side this season from the Under-18s.
Nathan Broadhead, FW, 19
A skilful forward equally at ease with both feet, the Welshman has 11 youth international caps with five goals. He as struggled to find the goals with the Under-23s this season, featuring in nine games with no returns so far, though he did pick up two in four games last season after promotion from the Under-18s.
Shayne Lavery, FW, 18
Another striker who has had a harder go of it in the Under-23s, featuring in four games with one goal but had eight goals and seven assists in two seasons in the Under-18 Premier League.