Everton fans this week will have been disappointed to hear comments from one of their more talented youngsters. Callum Connolly was speaking to Green’Un 24 when he admitted he could join Ipswich Town permanently in the summer, whilst also criticising Everton for a lack of support during his loan spell:
“I’ve had contact with Everton, but not as much as I expected. I think they’ve just let me get on with my football.
“There hasn’t been as much support as I’ve wanted to be honest, but obviously it’s a man’s game and I’m learning the game on my own.”
Connolly is currently at Portman Road until the end of the season and has impressed in the Championship. The 20-year-old has played 26 times for the Tractor Boys and has even chipped in with three goals.
A versatile player, Connolly made his Everton first-team debut as a right-back, but is also comfortable playing in centre-midfield or as a wing-back. Last season he impressed on a similar loan spell at Wigan Athletic. In the summer, he followed up his spell at Wigan by helping England win the under-20 World Cup.
So Connolly is a player with plenty of potential to be a future Everton first-teamer and it is shameful he is not being nurtured correctly. Everton cannot afford to lose such a talent and it is worrying considering other Everton talents currently out on loan.
The likes of Kieran Dowell at Nottingham Forest, Antonee Robinson at Bolton Wanderers and Joe Williams at Barnsley are just three examples of top young Everton talents currently developing elsewhere.
Everton have a rich history of bringing through top young talent. Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley and at present Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny are all good examples.
But hearing the feelings of abandonment that Connolly has felt since the departure of Joe Royle from his role as Everton development director in December is a concern.
Everton must treat their excellent young talents with care as they could all become future stars at Goodison Park.
Hopefully Connolly remains at Everton and begins to get the support he needs. The other hope will be not all the Everton talent feels similarly to the Ipswich loanee.