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Koeman yet to make decision on youngster’s future

Jonjoe Kenny could follow Kieran Dowell in heading out on loan

Everton v Liverpool: Premier League 2 Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman says he will make a decision on the immediate future of Jonjoe Kenny at the end of pre-season.

Many fans are calling for Kenny to be given a chance in the first-team after impressing at youth level.

The 20-year-old captained Everton U23s to the Premier League 2 title last season, was named U23 Player of the Year and led England to glory at the U20 World Cup this summer.

With Seamus Coleman sidelined until at least the end of the year there’s space for a right-back in Koeman’s starting XI.

Cuco Martina was brought in last month as experienced cover in that position alongside Kenny and Mason Holgate.

Martina started against Ruzomberok last week while Holgate filled that position in the closing weeks of last season following Coleman’s injury.

Kenny did make one senior appearance last campaign, as a late substitute in the defeat at Swansea in May. It remains to be seen whether he can force his way into Koeman’s plans for this season.

The Toffees boss is aware that Kenny is entering a crucial stage of his development and another full season of U23 football is unlikely to benefit the young defender.

Kenny has enjoyed two spells away from the club on loan, at Wigan in 2015 and Oxford Utd the following year.

Kenny’s U23 teammate Kieran Dowell has joined Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan to further his development and Koeman has hinted that Kenny may take a similar path, though any decision won’t be taken until the Premier League season gets underway.

“We know that we have several options for his position with Mason Holgate, with Cuco Martina and Kenny – and, finally, the best will play.

“Of course, we are looking at the development of young players and what we did with Dowell was the best way to develop the player.

“And at the end of this pre-season we will take a decision: if Jonjoe is not really close to a position in the first-team then maybe we will think about what the best is to develop the player.

“They did a great season last season in the under-23s and they need to make the next step. It is really difficult for young players to get a place in the team.”