It seems Everton might have a gem in the young talent of Ryan Astley. Everton’s under-23 boss David Unsworth spoke to Everton’s official website about the Welshman this week, following a narrow defeat to Leicester City.
He was clearly pleased with the form of the 17-year-old.
Everton fans have of course heard plenty about the player in recent times. That’s because it appears they have a fight on to keep him at Finch Farm.
“I’m so proud of him. He made his debut last season when he was still playing at under-16 level, which is not heard of.
“He’s come into the group, he’s playing out of position at right-back – he’s a centre-back really – and he’s been terrific. He was excellent.”
Astley has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal. In September, The Mirror reported that the teenage sensation was a target for the Gunners due to Everton’s failure to tie him down to a professional contract.
Since then he has turned 17 and there has still been no sign of a contract announcement for the player.
With the likes of Arsenal lurking Everton must ensure they tie the Welsh youth captain down for the long-term.
Bringing through talent from the youth team must remain a cornerstone of the Everton model if they are to fulfil their ambition of challenging for silverware on a regular basis.
Tying down Astley would be a great indicator.