Everton’s pathetic performance in the second half of the FA Cup Third Round loss at Liverpool on Sunday will have crystallized some thoughts in manager Carlo Ancelotti’s mind, first and foremost amongst them would be that he needs to offload a significant number of this still-bloated squad sooner than later.
While Director of Football Marcel Brands has been working on sins of past regimes and reducing the wage bill, he will be aware that some of his signings have the magnifying glass on them too.
At the beginning of this season Brands had indicated that he would focus on developing the Academy system and the youth pipeline to the senior squad for this year. With the season going awry early and Marco Silva eventually shown the door, that might have changed his immediate priorities but now Ancelotti has also indicated that he wants to get a better gauge of what we have in the youth system.
Speaking to evertontv, the veteran manager said -
“The first team has to have a strong relationship with the Academy, we have to work together to improve the players from the youth system. There will be times I can take players from the Academy to train with the first team.
“I will speak with the Academy manager to find the right way to improve the young players and get them ready for our first team.
“I have regular contact with Marcel, we have discussions every day to find the right solution to do our best for this club. Everyone is here to work for this club, to try to bring this club to the highest level possible.”
Anthony Gordon has been in a couple of matchday squads already but is yet to make his Premier League debut, and Ancelotti has taken notice of the promising forward.
“I would like to know about all the young players – it would be good to have players come from the Academy into the first team.
“Anthony Gordon is working with us. I see a lot of quality in him. He has to improve and we have to be patient with him.
“But he has the quality to be at the top level. He has to gain more knowledge and experience but his quality is very good.”
With Everton’s last chance at silverware this season evaporating last weekend, the remainder of the season surely needs to be focused on ensuring we finish in a decent position in the Premier League table while evaluating what we have on the books, and making decisions on who needs to be jettisoned right away in the January transfer window and who will have until the end of the season to prove they deserve to wear the royal blue.