Everton are going into the new season with something of a shortage of centre-back options. But that might just be the perfect opportunity for young Morgan Feeney.
This summer saw Everton lose both Kurt Zouma and Phil Jagielka. The Frenchman’s loan spell from Chelsea came to an end whilst the club captain headed back to former club Sheffield United.
Whilst the returning Mason Holgate is seen as a potential replacement for Jagielka, Everton appeared to miss out on their potential Zouma replacements.
But in Feeney, Everton have a player chomping at the bit to get a chance for the first-team.
Last season, he guided the Everton under-23s to the Premier League 2 cup as captain. In 2018, it appeared Feeney’s career was in doubt as he had to undergo double knee surgery. Indeed, speaking to the Everton official website in May, under-23 boss David Unsworth admitted the injury could have ‘finished’ Feeney.
“He has had horrendous knee injuries – injuries that could have finished a lesser player.
“The work he’s done with the physios, the sports science department… He’s shown a grit and determination to fight through the pain barrier – I’ve never known anything like it for a young player.”
But Feeney thrived last term and the 20-year-old has become a natural leader among the young group at Finch Farm.
Everton’s under-23s get their PL2 campaign underway today when they take on Leicester City’s youngsters and it will be interesting to see how Feeney performs in the game.
It appears he has some way to go before he catches the eye of Everton first-team boss Marco Silva. But with options at centre-back sparse, it could be Feeney has his breakthrough campaign in 2019-20.