One of the bright spots of Everton’s season so far has been an increased contribution from young players, and it doesn’t look set to slow down anytime soon. Previously a rarity under Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman has shown no qualms throwing a youth player to the wolves, and often to great effect.
The standout names have been Tom Davies and Mason Holgate, but indeed too Dominic Calvert-Lewin before his injury and winter window signing Ademola Lookman have both contributed.
If you’re good enough, you’re old enough, says Koeman, and he continues to put his money where his mouth is.
“Ademola is a good example in that if you are good enough you will play, and there are others here like him who will get their chance if they keep working hard.”
Davies has become a first XI regular for the team, and Holgate is the choice over Phil Jagielka when Koeman chooses a 3 centre back formation. Recently, Lookman has been preferred to Kevin Mirallas, and Wolfsburg loanee Anton Donkor spent some time training with the first team.
It remains to be seen if there will be room for Calvert-Lewin when he returns from his injury layoff.
While plaudits are due Koeman for his willingness to use the players, David Unsworth has done an outstanding job developing their talents - Everton’s U23 side are currently top of the table with an eye-popping +25 goal differential.
Regardless, it’s another positive step forward in the Koeman tenure, and one the club will be happy to see continue.