Why Everton should hand starlet Anthony Gordon a chance in the first-team
Under-fire Everton manager Marco Silva has revealed in an exclusive interview with Liverpool Echo that he intends to hand academy starlet Anthony Gordon a chance to impress in the first-team in the coming weeks.
The 42-year-old Portuguese gaffer has confirmed that he is impressed with the rapid development illustrated by Anthony Gordon, who has been training regularly with the big boys at Finch Farm since the start of the ongoing campaign. (h/t Liverpool Echo)
The talented 18-year-old was handed his senior debut by former Toffees manager Sam Allardyce in December 2017 as a late substitute in a Europa League dead-rubber against Cypriot side Apollon Limassol but he hasn’t had another opportunity to impress thereafter.
Gordon, who was spotted by Everton as an 11-year-old while playing for his local side Frameline Juniors, joined the Toffees at the youth level back in 2012 and has earned rave reviews from the youth coaching staff at Goodison Park for his rapid development.
The teenager has been tipped by many as a player with serious potential to make an impression in the Premier League in the years to come and head coach Marco Silva seems to share the same opinion.
Gordon started playing regularly for the U-18 side in the U-18 Premier League in the 2016-17 season before an eye-watering tally of 14 goals and 4 assists in 15 appearances in the 2017-18 campaign paved the way for him to prove his credentials at the U-23 level.
The Liverpool-born starlet scored only once in 14 appearances for the U-23s in the Premier League 2 Division 1 last season but he has really hit the ground running for the reserves this term, accumulating 5 goals and 2 assists in 6 league outings, while also impressing Marco Silva on the training ground with his industry and eagerness to learn new things. (h/t Liverpool Echo)
Despite spending a fortune to secure deals for marquee signings like Moise Kean, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Alex Iwobi and Andre Gomes, Everton haven’t been able to avoid a poor start to the season.
Lack of quality at both ends of the pitch has cost the Toffees dear and Silva currently finds himself under the cosh for the team’s woeful run of form early in the season.
Silva, though, is not to ready to throw in the towel just yet and his interest in handing Anthony Gordon a chance in the first-team is indicative of the fact that he is keen to dig into the club’s academy ranks in order to find solutions to the team’s ongoing problems up top.
To that end, however, the manager has made it clear that it would be better for Gordon if he is handed an opportunity when the team is back in form and not right now when they are struggling for goals, as he believes that putting him in the firing line won’t be the wisest step for his development. (h/t Liverpool Echo)
The 18-year-old has a similar profile as that of Richarlison, blessed with the versatility to play on either flank, through the middle in the hole behind the striker and also as the lone man up top.
Had it not been for the arrival of Kean and Iwobi, the academy graduate could probably have broken into Silva’s plans by now, however, with the kind of progress he has shown over the past 12 months, a chance to impress with the big boys shouldn’t be far away.
In Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Everton have a talented young striker to groom for the future and the Toffees would find themselves a wonderful long-term solution to their goalscoring woes if the former Sheffield United youth prospect manages to build on the kind of promise that he has already shown in the Premier League.
Gordon, too, is amongst the highly-rated starlets at Goodison Park and given that Silva has shown in the past that he is not afraid to hand youngsters an opportunity if they are good enough to do the job, the England U-19 international is likely to get a look in at some point of time later in the ongoing campaign.
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Suffice to say, the teenager has a bright future ahead of him and Everton including him in their senior ranks would be a strong statement of intent that highlights the renewal of faith in their academy products.