After a stellar season overall on loan at Nottingham Forest, it certainly looked like Kieran Dowell was ready for the spotlight at Everton in the Premier League. The addition of Marco Silva as manager and his focus on attacking football would certainly have given the youngster some encouragement, as did the news that the Blues were sending out Nikola Vlasic on loan, his only real competition for the #10 backup position.
However, while Vlasic has gained international recognition following his exploits at CSKA Moscow, including a giant-killing role in beating current Champions League holders Real Madrid, Dowell has only appeared thrice for the Blues.
His two competitive games in the EFL Cup against Rotherham United and Southampton ended with him being substituted off in the second half having failed to stamp his authority on the pitch. Dowell did score yesterday against Gor Mahia, something he managed last season too, but the quality of the Kenyan champions can hardly be considered to be higher than League One opposition, if that.
Speaking after the 4-0 win, Dowell talked about his frustrations this season -
“Every game is a chance to do that, even if it is in the Under-23s or even in training. The manager is always watching and it is always a chance to impress. I don’t score many goals on my right foot, so it’s always nice to get one!
“There’s a lot of good players in this team and that’s what Everton wants. We saw a different XI against Gor Mahia and it was still very strong.
“I’ve been short on gametime this season so it was nice to get out there, especially at Goodison Park. Everybody’s champing at the bit to get a game but the lads who are playing at the weekend are flying, so it’s good all round for the Club.”
He went on to add that the Silva’s philosophy was suiting him very well, and that he just needed to establish himself better.
“We like to press from the front and play fast football through the lines. That’s what you want to be doing and he is a great manager to play under.
“We have principles in the way we want to play but there is some fluidity in that. I was on the right today, but I found myself as number 10 or off the left, too.
“I feel like I get loads of the ball under him, we like to dominate possession and that’s what we do in most games. Against Gor Mahia, we got four goals and it was a really attacking performance.”
Samir Nasri was recently linked with making a shock comeback to the Premier League with the Blues mentioned as one of the interested sides, likely to serve as backup for Gylfi Sigurdsson. In that case, Dowell would be best served with a half-season loan deal that sees him playing more regularly, especially at a club that is as attack-minded as Silva.