Youngster Antonee Robinson has reason to be disappointed with the just-ended 2018-19 season. He had established himself out on loan at Wigan Athletic in the Championship, making the left back starting role his own and had broken through to the United States men’s national team. However, an unfortunately ankle injury saw him miss miss over three months in the middle of the season stalling his progress.
He featured in a total of 26 games for the Latics, and underwent a trial by fire with the USMNT coming up against France, Brazil, Mexico and Colombia among others. Now the fullback is looking to win a spot in Everton’s senior squad for the 2019-20 season, and if he continues to impress over the summer during training camp could give Marcel Brands and Marco Silva a big decision to make at the left back position.
Robinson spoke to Wigan Today about his time with the Latics.
“I’d recommend this club to any young player wanting to further their development in the game – a million per cent. There’s no big egos here, it’s a very good bunch of people who all want the best for each other.
“The staff all know what they’re doing and they’re also committed to playing good attacking football which is great. I can’t see how this club wouldn’t be of benefit to anyone wanting to kick on.
“I’ve had such a great time here on a personal level. The lads have made me feel so much at home, all the staff, it’s been ‘my club’ for a year, it’s not felt like a loan club.
“I’ll definitely miss the place and I hope Wigan can kick on themselves and move forward as a club.”
The Blues have a good working relationship with Wigan going back to Roberto Martinez coming over from the Latics, along with a number of players that made the switch after that.
That bond has only strengthened now that Everton legend Joe Royle is Director of Football at Wigan, and the Blues will be likely to send more youngsters over to them for this coming season.
As far as his personal goals for the upcoming season, Robinson mentioned that he has been in contact with Marco Silva and knows what is expected of him to make the breakthrough.
“I’ve definitely learnt a lot over the year and certainly come on as a player. It’s all progress towards the main goal which is to make the breakthrough at Everton.
“And this has been another very important season in my career to date. The next goal for me is to kick on towards the Everton first team. I’ll be going back for pre-season fighting fit and raring to go.
“The manager’s been in touch with me, he keeps telling me what I need to work on and stuff. He’s been pleased with me for what I’ve done this season so I don’t see why he wouldn’t give me a chance next season.”
This is indeed interesting as the Toffees are said to be mulling over handing Leighton Baines a one-year deal with the expiration of his current contract to stay on as the backup for Lucas Digne.
From Robinson’s performances last season, while the youngster has made great strides, he is still some way from being starting-calibre in the Premier League. The best course of action appears to be letting Robinson benefit from another year on loan at a competitive side while Baines stays on bringing his veteran leadership to the Everton dressing room.