Morgan Feeney has had something of a breakthrough season for Everton. The 19-year-old defender, who has captained the under-23 side, made his debut for the club during a defensive shortage back in November. He came on in the woeful 5-1 loss to Atalanta but then impressed in a 3-0 win against Apollon Limassol, playing the entire 90 minutes.
He also played 16 games in Premier League 2 and, overall, has looked every bit a future Everton star.
Next season he will undoubtedly want to push on some more and has every chance of doing so. The Toffees are not blessed at the back. Phil Jagielka is starting to show his maturing years. Ashley Williams has been poor this season. Ramiro Funes Mori has been linked with a move away. Feeney, therefore, might just feel ready to become a regular member of the Everton first-team picture under new manager Marco Silva.
However, there is one stumbling block. First, Feeney will have to prove he is fit enough. The teenager has been suffering with a long-standing knee tendon problem. Back in February, the problem cut his season short. The Everton talent headed to Sweden to have specialist surgery on both knees in order to hopefully solve the problem.
At the time the hope was Feeney would be fit for pre-season. That is still the case and he will no doubt need to be present if he is to catch the eye of his new manager.
If he can do that then Feeney is undoubtedly talented enough to make it at Everton. He needs to ensure he continues to grow as a player but with his knee problems now hopefully taken care of he can begin to focus on developing his game.
With a contract till 2020, Everton clearly have the belief that Feeney can make it. If he gets pre-season right, then he might add to those two senior appearances for the Toffees in 2018-19.