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High praise for Everton from very unlikely source

Former footballer gushing about the Toffees’ setup

Soccerex Global Convention - Day 3
Stan Collymore at the Soccerex Global Convention yesterday
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images for Soccerex

Former Nottingham Forest, Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore has weighed on latest Everton sensation Dominic Calvert-Lewin, along with praising the setup the Blues have got going with their pipeline of youngsters on the way.

Calvert-Lewin has had an eventful twelve months since he moved to the Blues on transfer deadline day last summer, winning the Premier League 2 title to go with the Under-20 World Cup trophy and is already in for a shout as one of Everton’s best players of the season so far.

Speaking to evertonfc.com, Collymore said -

“There is undoubtedly something special about the fact he clearly wants to be in the first team.

“It is not just about wanting to see young players come through, which we all like at our clubs. I want young players who are looking at the gaffer and saying, ‘get me on, get me on’ – and he seems that type of character.

“I was in the States recently talking to Patrick Vieira (currently managing New York City and formerly in charge of Manchester City’s Academy), about Under-23s playing against Under-23s, in an Under-23s league – having the comfort blanket of being at a big club.

“When young players come out and say, ‘give me the opportunity’ – that is what I want to hear.

“In that respect, Dominic reminds me of Robbie Fowler – and Michael Owen, who also made his debut early.”

Ronald Koeman has not been shy about giving youngsters a chance at Everton, despite that accusation following him since his days at Southampton. Tom Davies became a first team fixture last season, while Mason Holgate has played in some key games for the Toffees as well.

On that note, Collymore added that Everton were turning into a preferred destination for young players looking to get their careers starting off on the right foot.

“Everton is definitely a place you would want to go as a young player now. I think there are a lot of similarities between Everton and Spurs. Both clubs buy diligently, but they do not burst open the transfer kitty when they can give a young player an opportunity.

“And an opportunity means six to 10 games, it doesn’t mean 45 minutes, 10 times a season. It means letting them play.

“I think more managers are starting to realise, with the huge money in the Premier League – and yes, it is great to have that money in the bank – that it is great to be able to develop a club with those resources that come in, along with bringing through your own.

“Ronald Koeman has spoken about that and bought young players, so why not promote them from within as well?”

Everton v Sevilla - Pre Season Friendly
Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

While continuing to gush about Calvert-Lewin, he did warn the youngster that tougher times lay ahead for the player.

“He will need a bit of patience, because most of the youngsters I have ever seen, besides the truly exceptional ones, will have peaks and troughs – good games and bad games.

“I think the fact Dominic has said, ‘I want to be involved, give me an opportunity’, gives you an insight into the character of a player who will have a long and successful career for his club and country.”

The 20-year-old will be looking this season to prove that Koeman’s and Steve Walsh’s faith that he could be the team’s lead striker was well-placed. Looking at the start he’s gotten off to, as well as all that he has accomplished in the last year or so, it’s hard to believe that he won’t succeed.