In the one year since Ronald Koeman has been manager and Steve Walsh has been the Director of Football at Everton, the face of the club has changed vastly from what fans have known it.
Backed by investor and majority share owner Farhad Moshiri, the management has embarked on a mission to not only make the squad younger, but also more English. While massive purchases are being made, including six of the seven most expensive transfers in club history just since 2016, what might have been missed is that two of the top five are English and many more are either being brought in at youth level or else are homegrown youngsters through the famed Academy system.
MAN UTD v EVERTON - DECEMBER 26, 1997
EVERTON: Myhre (Nor); Short (Eng); Hinchcliffe (Eng); Tiler (Eng); Watson (Eng); Barrett (Eng); Ball (Eng); Farrelly (Ire); Oster (Wal); Barmby (Eng); Cadamarteri (Eng)
MAN CITY v EVERTON - AUGUST 21, 2017
EVERTON: Pickford (Eng); Baines (Eng); Keane (Eng); Williams (Wal); Jagielka (Eng); Holgate (Eng); Gueye (Sen); Schneiderlin (Fra); Davies (Eng); Rooney (Eng); Calvert-Lewin (Eng)
Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all represent England’s future while Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Wayne Rooney have all featured prominently for the Three Lions in the past.
Of the 26 players currently in the senior squad, 11 are English with a further 3 of British origin. The trend continues in the Under-23 side as well, with the entire squad bar five players being British. In the current foreigner-laden Premier League, this is a remarkable outlay of homegrown talent that the club now possesses and bodes well for the future.
The late Howard Kendall, who managed the side mentioned above in 1997, would have been proud to see the eleven that lined up yesterday.