For a while, it seemed as though Everton could find themselves struggling to avoid relegation from the Premier League this season. The Toffees were struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table and it cost Ronald Koeman his job.
Despite this, in recent weeks Everton fans have been left frustrated with the performances of their team under new boss Sam Allardyce. Several players are indeed under-performing. Two players that definitely relates to are Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott.
The Everton wide options have not impressed in recent fixtures. Neither looks up to scratch at the moment if Everton are going to improve on their season in 2018-19.
For many fans, it would be better to see one of their youth academy players getting a chance next season, ahead of the duo. The player in question is Kieran Dowell.
The 20-year-old has long been regarded as one of Everton’s hottest prospects. He made his debut for the club in 2014 as a 17-year-old in the Europa League. In the final two games of 2015-16, with David Unsworth as caretaker, he played against Bournemouth and Norwich City. Last season, he helped Everton win the Premier League 2 title and won the Under-20 World Cup with England last summer.
But Koeman was never going to give him a chance and Dowell was loaned to Nottingham Forest. The youngster had an excellent start to the season at the City Ground. He scored 10 goals for the club before the end of January. But, a busy season has burnt the youngster out and under new boss Aitor Karanka, he has become a far less used asset.
That is completely understandable. Asking a teenager to play a 46-game season is tough but Dowell proved in his early fixtures he has the talent to make it in the game.
Everton should not send him out again next season. Instead, the 20-year-old should be given chances off the bench and from the start in the Premier League. Based on recent evidence, he could do no worse than some of the players in attacking positions for Everton at present.
Fans would love to see another academy graduate make it into the first-team, just like Tom Davies last season and Jonjoe Kenny this.
But with Sam Allardyce in charge and Everton likely to spend again this summer, Dowell might have to settle for another loan spell away.