Everton boss Marco Silva had finally seen enough of Seamus Coleman’s recent struggling displays to decide he would drop him for the Leicester City game yesterday. He called up young Jonjoe Kenny to start only his fifth Premier League game this season and first since a 2-1 win against Leicester City in October.
Kenny is something of a marmite player among the Everton fanbase. Many see him as a future star for club and country. Others see absolutely nothing of note.
So the Leicester performance was a microcosm of that issue.
The first-half was great from Kenny. He put in a strong performance defensively and also offered some of Everton’s best-attacking threat.
The second-half was less impressive. Poor decision making with the ball and his delivery into the box went astray. It was a game of two halves for Kenny.
However, Everton should stick by him.
Firstly, of course his performance dipped. No playing time since October is going to leave a player struggling in the latter stages. Asking him to play 90 minutes after such a period of inactivity was a tough one.
Secondly, there is genuine talent there and, above all, when it comes to defending, he is better than Coleman. He reads the game better defensively, times tackles extremely well and will help Everton stop shifting goals in the way they have been recently.
Everton may lose something in attack, but Coleman needs some time out of the team and Kenny needs to be backed.
If not, then sign another right-back and send Kenny away on loan as there would be little point him hanging around at Goodison Park.