There has been a noticeable shift in Everton’s selection policy in the last few months with youth being given more emphasis, and young players across the country are paying attention to what’s happening at USM Finch Farm.
The Toffees Director of Football Steve Walsh said in an interview yesterday that the introduction of Tom Davies and Ademola Lookman to the senior squad, as well as the appearances from Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin has not only rejuvenated the team, but it’s also inspiring other youth.
“Ademola’s the future. He’s come in and done well but he’s still got a lot of development to do. But putting him and Tom Davies in the first team sends out the right signals and really does help when it comes to attracting more young players to your football club.
“Even the best talents are interested in Everton. You get a pathway through to the first team which you might not get with another club.
“I think if you can buy those players and integrate them with your own youngsters of quality then it’s a potent mix. It gives you that energy and vitality.
“Then you put your Gana in there, Rom, Ross, Ash. Morgan Schneiderlin – I mean, you look at Morgan and think, ‘he’s a real player who can advance you as a club, no question’.”
Walsh added that he was very happy with what he had seen from Lookman, the club’s first signing during the January transfer window, but also said he still had more growing to do.
“I saw him against Oldham Atheltic for Charlton, and never changed my mind on him,” revealed Walsh.
“He’s got two feet. He’s not one of those people who shifts it to his stronger foot to finish. He has an eye for goal. When he came on (against City) and scored the goal that took him into the fans’ hearts. He looks to get his shots off, he does things that are unusual, he tries to find a yard with his first touch.
“There are things I’d like him to add to his game but he’s a young kid who has stepped up two leagues and so it’ll take him time. But I’ve a real hope for him in terms of making it into the England national team if I’m honest, he has that ability.”