Blackpool are beefing up their squad for an upcoming gruelling campaign in the Championship following a promotion-winning season in League One where Everton’s on-loan Ellis Simms made an immediate impact.
Two former Evertonians are already in the ranks at the Seasiders - Luke Garbutt, once considered as Leighton Baines’ understudy, and Northern Ireland striker Shayne Lavery who was let go by the Blues a couple of seasons ago.
Now manager Neil Critchley has added two more Academy products - versatile defender/midfielder Callum Connolly and forward Josh Bowler, both of whom were not offered new contracts when their current terms expire at the Toffees this month.
The 23-year-old Connolly made his sole appearance for the first team in 2016, and remained a peripheral figure around the squad without fully realizing his potential and breaking through to the senior side. He spent last season on loan at Fleetwood Town, and leaves Everton having played 57 times for the Under-23 side.
Bowler came into the youth setup in 2017 from Queens Park Rangers, and despite making 41 appearances for David Unsworth’s side, was not able to kick on and get into the senior squad either, and was not offered a new deal upon the expiration of his current contract.
Critchley, as a former Liverpool youth player and manager of the Under-23 side, has been keeping tabs on Merseyside youngsters for some time now, and though the Seasiders have expressed interest in getting Simms back for the next season, it does look like the Blues would like to have a manager in place first before deciding where the 20-year-old will be playing football next season.