Everton boss Marco Silva has confirmed the club’s plans to bring in another new right-back this summer, but should he consider one of the youngsters currently training with the first-team instead.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the Portuguese confirmed that Everton want to bring in a back-up to Seamus Coleman this summer. Jonjoe Kenny has left on loan for Schalke whilst Mason Holgate is being considered as a central defender.
“In this moment, and since Jonjoe went on loan to Schalke, it has been a position we want (to) strengthen.
“You cannot go through a tough competition like the Premier League with just Seamus Coleman.”
But David Unsworth’s under-23s had a breakout star last season who could fulfill the role. The player in question is Welsh talent, Ryan Astley.
The 17-year-old helped the Everton under-23s to the PL2 title last season playing, more than often, in the right-back position.
In the long run, the highly talented defender is expected to thrive as a ball-playing centre-half. However, as a youngster coming through, giving Astley a chance at right-back could help ease him into football at the highest level.
Under-23 boss Unsworth is already known to be a huge fan. In January, he dubbed him ‘excellent’ for his performances with the older age group, as reported by the Echo.
He was rewarded for his form with a three-year deal at Goodison Park, after The Mirror suggested Arsenal were keeping tabs.
This summer, Astley is with Everton’s first-team at their training camp in Austria. According to the Echo’s diary of training yesterday, Astley was the last man out on the training ground. He was practicing out in the right-back position with coach Duncan Ferguson after everybody else had packed up for the day.
That sort of commitment is exactly what Everton fans like to hear of. It would be a risk but if it pays off Everton could be molding a future star by giving Astley a chance to shine this season.