Former Everton defender Michael Ball has defended Everton’s decision not to send young talent like Morgan Feeney out on loan this summer.
The one-cap England left-back, who came through the youth academy at Everton, was writing in his column for the Liverpool Echo.
The 39-year-old was discussing Feeney and several other of the talented young Everton players who have not been sent out on loan this season.
Whilst he admits that Feeney and co might want to be playing senior football, he defended Everton’s stance. Ball suggested that if the right loan club was not available to Everton, it was best they remain in the under-23s and occasionally train with Marco Silva’s first-team.
“The loan system is one I’ve always been 50/50 with, especially for youngsters. If you don’t make a move to the right club or one that doesn’t play to your style, it could hinder your development in the long term.
“So I think Everton have got to be very careful with their young talents who are still developing and learning the game in Morgan Feeney and a few others.
“Particularly as a defender, you’re against the likes of Richarlison , Alex Iwobi and Bernard (in training). On loan are you going to be up against that talent?”
Ball is absolutely right on this, especially regarding a player like Feeney.
The Everton under-23 captain is highly-rated at Finch Farm and with Everton failing to bring in a replacement for Kurt Zouma or Phil Jagielka this summer he is probably in with a chance of first-team football at Everton this season.
There was likely plenty of potential loan locations for the player, but if Everton do not see it as the right fit, the best option is undoubtedly remaining in David Unsworth’s under-23 squad.
Hopefully, he can find himself getting some first-team minutes before the end of the season.