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Three Everton youngsters ready to make the step up next season

The Toffees have a number of young stars ready to make the jump to the first team.

Ruari Macneil

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Everton
Photo: Getty Images

The current Everton first-team squad boasts a high number of quality young players, with a number of top performers significantly bringing down the average age of the starting XI.

The club have four England under-21 stars in Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies, Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny all making regular starts, while a number of others are currently coming through the ranks either on loan or turning out for the club’s development side in the Premier League 2.

Either way, we are taking the chance to have a look at three of the club’s rising stars, who have not yet properly impacted the first-team and will be looking to make their stamp during the season ahead.

Kieran Dowell

England under-21 attacking midfielder Kieran Dowell has been plying his trade under Aitor Karanka on loan at Nottingham Forest this season. The 20-year-old has enjoyed a terrific campaign with the Reds, making over 30 appearances so far and reaching double figures in terms of goals scored.

The FIFA under-20 World Cup winner has a genuine chance of impacting the first team in 2018/2019, having caught the attention of the Everton coaching staff through his consistency and goal-scoring ability. However, with a number of players already in his position in the first-team squad, regular game time may be hard to come by at Goodison Park.

That being said, the likes of Davies should be enough evidence that age does not matter at Everton, and you still have every chance of establishing yourself as a first-team regular irrespective of age and inexperience. At 19, Davies plays regularly ahead of more experienced senior players such as Morgan Schneiderlin and Davy Klaassen, and Dowell should be holding out for much of the same.

Ademola Lookman

Charlton Athletic academy graduate Ademola Lookman played a number of times for Everton’s senior team in the first half of this campaign, before being sent on loan to RB Leipzig from January.

The young forward has played around 10 games in the Bundesliga for the German giants, scoring a couple of goals, and has undoubtedly picked  up some valuable experience playing for a top European club. Lookman announced himself to the Leipzig fans in emphatic fashion, when  he bagged a late winner on his debut against Borussia Monchengladbach.

With their forward options currently quite thin, Everton could definitely make better use of Lookman next season, as a backup to the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott. Aged just 20, the England under-21 international looks a serious talent, and will be aiming to impact the side sooner rather than later.

Antonee Robinson

English-American full-back Antonee Robinson has enjoyed a full season of first-team football with Championship side Bolton Wanderers this season, making nearly 30 appearances for his loan club.

The 20-year-old is yet to make his Everton first-team debut, having picked up a few appearances for the development side in the past but, with Leighton Baines set to turn 34 next season, the youngster could well be brought in to deputise for the long-standing veteran.

Robinson spent his entire youth career at Everton and is highly rated by the club’s coaching staff and, at 6ft, he is a commanding presence down the left-flank. He has even been deployed at centre-back due to his large frame in the past.

With his versatility as an added quality, it would not be surprising to see Robinson win his debut and enjoy some first-team exposure back at his parent club during the 2018/2019 season.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

Everton

Everton may have to face up to reality of Davy Klaassen sticking around

Everton may have to keep Davy Klaassen on the books and they should give him a chance.

Mathew Nash

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Last summer Everton spent £23.6 million on Ajax captain Davy Klaassen. It was expected to be a hit signing, considering the season he had just had in Amsterdam. The attacking midfielder scored 20 goals and assisted 12 in 50 games for Ajax, helping them to the Europa League final.

But he struggled at Everton. Klaassen was not helped by the fact Everton signed Gylfi Sigurdsson and Wayne Rooney in the same window, both extremely similar players.

He also seemed to be off the pace for English football, but never got a prolonged chance to find his feet.

(Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Klaassen played just seven times in the Premier League but also struggled in his eight Europa League appearances.

That has led to a summer where it seemed he was on his way out. Turkish side Besiktas have so far emerged as the only creditable interested.  However, Everton team-mate told Cenk Tosun told Sabah this week that Klaassen had no interest in the deal.

So Everton might just have to accept that Klaassen is sticking around.


“Klaassen is a very good football player and I asked him if he would come to Besiktas.

“But he replied ‘I do not think Turkey.’ The subject was closed from the start.”

– Cenk Tosun on Davy Klaassen’s future


Which might not be a bad thing?

The Dutchman has an abundance of talent but he seemed suffocated at Everton last term. Marco Silva will need to decide whether there is a system in which Klaassen can actually thrive at Goodison Park.

The club will not want to make a big loss on what was a sizeable investment and, given he is still only 25-years-old, there is hope for the future.

If nobody wants him, Everton would be foolish not to use him and see if he can recapture that 2016-17 form that saw Everton splash the cash last summer.

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Everton round-up: Laxalt bid, Valderrama stings and Denny signs on

All the latest news and gossip from Everton.

Mathew Nash

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Laxalt bid

Everton are reportedly interested in signing Uruguay star Diego Laxalt. According to Primocanale the Genoa star is being targeted and Everton could bid €12 million (£10.6 million) to bring him to Goodison Park.

The 25-year-old had a good World Cup for Uruguay and can operate at left-back, an area of the pitch Everton are currently looking to improve.

Bournemouth are also keen on the player.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Valderrama stitch up

Everton have been besmirched by Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama, who has told Yerry Mina to stay clear of the club.

He told Radio Caracol that Mina must reject a ‘mid–table’ team like Everton and join Galatasaray instead, where he can play in the Champions League.

Everton have been linked with a £21.6 million move for the World Cup star, who is set to be sold by Barcelona this summer.

Denny deal

Alex Denny has ended any speculation about his future by signing a one-year contract extension with the club.

The 18-year-old England youth international is considered one of Everton’s top young talents and earlier this summer was linked with a move to Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.

However, he has become the latest to sign a new deal at Everton and will be a key member of the under-23s next season.

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Who is Everton’s £35 million rated defensive target David Lopez?

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Photo: Getty Images.

Reports from Spain suggest that Everton may make a big money bid as Marco Silva looks to rejuvenate the Toffees’ back line, having yet to dip his toes into transfer window this summer after last summer’s catastrophes cost Ronaldo Koeman his job, with Espanyol captain David Lopez being eyed up.

Mundo Deportivo believe that the Merseyside club are one of three clubs, alongside Spanish duo Real Betis and Valencia, to be interested in signing the 28-year-old as his current team grow increasingly concerned that they could lose him.

It comes after Mundo Deportivo previously stated, amid interest from Newcastle United, that Lopez would only be allowed to leave the RCDE Stadium if his release clause of €40 million (£35.4 million) were to be paid in full, though the latest reports suggest that Everton would not be willing to match that.

(Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

The former Napoli man is not well known by many in the Premier League, but he has quietly developed a reputation as one of La Liga’s steadiest defenders and a key part of one of Spain’s most solid defences at times in 2017/18.

Now in his third spell at the Catalan club, Lopez missed only one game last season, due to suspension, and played every other minute of action, keeping 15 clean sheets in 43 appearances, with his leadership and command at the back likely being key to the role that Silva could see him taking up at Goodison Park.

“It would not be good for the team if he were to leave because he is a player with status and in the spine of the team. Finding a player of his quality is complicated. It would be a tough blow and it would not be positive for the team. I hope he will continue, with him we gain a lot on the ball, in terms of tactical sense and helping the team. He’s a key man.”

Team-mate Victor Sanchez recently discussed the impact losing Lopez would have on Espanyol, speaking to L’Esportiu de Catalunya.

Consistent and strong in the tackle, Lopez offers everything that Everton have been crying out for as they look to replace their ageing giants of Phil Jagielka and Ashley Williams.

With a ready made leader potentially ready to come in alongside Michael Keane, Lopez may not be the kind of glamour buy that some fans may have been hoping for, but he will certainly get the job done and bring a rich pedigree with him.

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