One of Everton’s calling cards in recent years has been the willingness to acquire promising young talents. They’ve showed an ability to develop them, and the courage to play them in the senior side when the time comes. From John Stones to Mason Holgate to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the practices are in place and fairly successful, too.
After hugely investing in David Unsworth’s U-23 side last summer, the Blues’ next target could be Atlanta United’s young fullback George Bello. According to CalcioMercato, Everton are one of a number of sides tracking the prodigy.
Bello, 16, was born in Nigeria, and is eligible for the United States men’s national team. The left-back has actually been on trial with Everton in the past, meaning that the club could have a leg up in any potential negotiations with the player, but that’s conjecture at this point.
Of course, Atlanta United are a young club, even by MLS standards, and do not possess much of a track record when it comes to how they handle selling their homegrown players. According to Dirty South Soccer’s Joe Patrick, Bello’s contract with Atlanta began just nine months ago on January 1st, which could represent another potential roadblock.
While the status of any potential deal here is wildly unclear, what’s more clear is that Bello is a special talent - Atlanta United are one of the best teams in MLS, and he’ll be training with their first team for the remainder of the season.
Despite having played only for Atlanta United 2 so far this season, the truth is that Atlanta United Manager Tata Martino is clearly a fan of Bello. The teenager has been training extensively with the first team most of the season (when healthy), and just last week, Martino confirmed that Bello would finish the season in first team training—not with the 2s.
”Training with the first team is great. Practices are always intense—there’s no breaks,” said Bello. “So it’s just compete, compete, compete and try to show yourself as much as possible. I’ve learned that the pace of the game is just a different level than what the academy might be. It forces you to step your game up to another level.
The article linked above is an excellent profile of George Bello, and regardless of when he makes a move to a bigger club, the fullback is a talent to watch moving forward.