In his few appearances for the Everton senior side last season, central defender Matthew Pennington didn’t exactly cover himself in glory, even though he scored what was ultimately a consolation goal in the Merseyside Derby. The game seemed to move by a bit faster than he could handle, and he had a tough time matching up physically with Premier League competition.
With that in mind, Under-23s manager David Unsworth chose to send him out on loan for the season to Leeds United where he can get some valuable playing time in the Championship.
He got off to a very good start with Leeds in the Championship, turning in a dominant performance at center half before being substituted after an awkward landing led to a turned ankle.
While he is expected to miss more time with his injury, his fellow back liner and fans’ cult hero Pontus Jansson has been speaking to the media about him, and even went to the extent of comparing him to Manchester United’s £31m summer signing, Victor Lindelöf.
After all, Jansson has been a teammate to both and should be in a good place to make any comparisons.
“Matthew is good and when I see him he is a bit of Victor Lindelöf who is at Manchester United.
“I play with him in the national team. “They are quite similar in how they play, quite fast, good with the ball and defensively also really good. He is going to be good for us.”
Having not seen too much of Lindelöf personally, I might not be in the best place to comment on this parallel, but I would wager Everton wouldn’t have had much luck trying to sell Pennington to United for that princely sum.
In fact, having seen Pennington’s struggles at the Premier League level, we would caution Leeds United fans from having too lofty expectations from the Everton loanee this season. As for the Lindelöf comparisons, let’s see more than one game against Bolton Wanderers before we go there.