David Unsworth has been lavishing praise on two of his under-23 centre-backs this week. The Everton under-23 boss had high praise for both Tyias Browning and Morgan Feeney. He described the pair as too good for football at this level after they helped Everton draw 0-0 with Arsenal.
The praise for Browning is certainly no surprise. At 25-years-old the former first-teamer needs to be playing somewhere else and on a regular basis.
Feeney, however, is a player Everton can start thinking of as a future first-team option.
However, if he is too good to be playing in the under-23s, then a loan deal must be on the agenda for January.
“The back five were outstanding – we limited Arsenal to a couple of opportunities. Kyle John, on his first start, was outstanding, and Tyias (Browning) and Morgan (Feeney) look a class above at this level. It was a good defensive display but I am leaving here thinking we should have had three points.”
Feeney, who has played twice for Everton in Europa League action, is 19-years-old and must be advancing in his development by challenging himself week-in and week-out. But a first-team call-up looks out of the question. Michael Keane, Yerry Mina, Kurt Zouma, Mason Holgate and Phil Jagielka are all ahead of him in the pecking order. Even Browning would argue he is more deserving of a first-team place in case of an injury crisis.
The England youth international, who has recovered from double corrective knee surgery to be back in form this season, would be better off on loan in League One or even the Championship.
Everton should certainly consider sending him out in January if under-23 football is simply not challenging enough anymore.