Roberto Martinez says that he expects Kieran Dowell to be around the first-team squad between now and the end of the season.
Roberto Martinez has hinted that some of his up-and-coming youngsters could get some valuable first-team exposure in the last four games of the season as he deals with injuries and suspension.
With Phil Jagielka, Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman injured and Ramiro Funes Mori suspended, the manager will be forced to make changes to his line-up, particularly in defence, and that is likely to again open up opportunities for players from David Unsworth's Under-21s team.
Callum Connolly and Tom Davies have already been handed debuts as substitutes this month, coming on against Southampton in Everton's last home game.
Defender Matthew Pennington, meanwhile, was recalled from loan at Walsall to provide cover on the bench for the cup semi-final last weekend and, like Connolly, is a contender to start in the back four when the Blues face Bournemouth on Saturday.
“[W]e're going to have a little bit of a weak back four but maybe we'll have a good opportunity for some young player to come along,” Martinez said at his pre-match press conference this afternoon.
While it's the defence that is in urgent need of patching up, the form of Kieran Dowell for the U21s has made the case for his inclusion in the first team harder to ignore and Martinez was asked about the young midfielder's prospects in particular this morning.
“He is clearly [in my thoughts]. Our football club has a very specific programme and a path into the first team. We've already seen Callum Connolly and Tom Davies make their debuts and I thought they very impressive in the manner in which they did that.
“Kieran Dowell has been outstanding with his performances and I don't think you'll find another adjective to describe his consistency with the Under-21s, the quality that he brings.
“I feel that he is ready now to be involved in the first team and I would expect to see him around the first team.
“He will absolutely have opportunities. He has earned it. We always had high hopes for him but it is not me making a decision, it is him earning that call. That will always be rewarded at our football club.”
Reader Comments (41)
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1 Posted 28/04/2016 at 18:57:28
And if they are brilliant? Then time too worry. How odd this situation is.
2 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:12:34
SeÃ±or Bob has destroyed or at very least put back 12 months most of the careers of the first team. Needles to say, I hope we lose the next 4 so Bill will finally have no choice.
3 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:15:53
5 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:21:57
6 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:30:20
8 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:34:23
"Kieran Dowell has been outstanding for the Under-21s. I feel he is ready to be around the first team," he said.
Around does not mean he will play or does it? Never can understand what Martinez really means to say!
9 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:35:23
Yes, if Mirallas, Kone, osman, Pienaar and that bloke he paid 13.5m for to distribute the oranges to the lads are injured - the lad might get 10 mins...
10 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:25:02
RM has to make the DECISION to pick him because nobody else can. He can never give a straight answer. It always has to be some flowery high sounding reply that makes no sense at all.
Not to mention to of course to play any youngster would require dropping one of the senior squad and in his present precarious position he needs them all on side. So, for now at least, young Dowell will have to wait until RM gets told he's staying or we get a new manager.
12 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:44:59
In other words he's cack.
13 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:46:27
So what kind of a back four/six have we had all season, Roberto!? Maybe the Under21s might be an improvement.
17 Posted 28/04/2016 at 21:01:03
Maybe not....brings quality though, which is nice...and possible even in this moment.
18 Posted 28/04/2016 at 21:27:16
If they do well, he will take full credit for an incredible performance that he managed; if they have a poor game, well of course he had to play them as no choice through injury. He cannot lose and we cannot win with all the bullshit.
20 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:09:25
21 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:10:07
22 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:12:49
23 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:36:52
When Lukaku was rested he brought in Kone - tried tested and a failure. Don't remember kids getting a mention then.
Nah this guy would tell you you black was white to keep himself in the job.
You are the weakest link - GOODBYE !!!!
25 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:42:22
26 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:53:49
I have no knowledge of our youngsters but it pains me to see several players over the park of similar age to our lads who have long since established themselves as first team players, and very promising ones at that. All we have, as ever with Bobby Bullshit, is the promise that ours are/will be also "outstanding".
I don't expect all of them to be outstanding but the God's honest truth to me, in all the decades I've supported the Blues, is that we've produced only one outstanding player from within; Rooney. After him David Johnson got closest, but no way close, but the procession of other wanna-be's fell way short, including Jeffers, Branch, Baxter, Grant, Ebbrell, Jones, Goodlass, Telfer......... what is it with our club?
And am I the only one sick to death of being told that "he's only 21 years old" is acceptable for some shite performance or other? Alan Ball was 21 when he was man of the match in a World Cup final for God's sake, and don't tell me he wasn't under pressure at a time when "win bonus" meant a real difference in spendability, unlike the spoilt millionaires of today.
27 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:55:46
Smacks of desperation to me, trying to appease the supporters who are baying for his blood. Too little, too late Bobby. Book a minibus on Uber so you can take your backroom staff with you.
28 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:09:43
How can fans boo when it's time to blood young Evertonians.
He's a head working fucker.
29 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:19:17
30 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:40:00
31 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:43:15
32 Posted 29/04/2016 at 01:02:00
That said, what type of shit is it when your manager describes your defence as weak because he's going to have to play some young lads. It's not exactly inspiring for them to be referred to as weak.
So much for if your good enough your good enough.
Also, when has our defence ever been anything but weak under Martinez.
Excuse ready though I suppose.
33 Posted 29/04/2016 at 01:42:35
35 Posted 29/04/2016 at 02:44:53
He did well in the first season but he should've carried it on by bringing more through and lowering the age of the squad, not giving silly contracts out to over-the-hill players. It's too late for these desperate attempts at appealing to fans who want to see homegrown youngsters getting into the team, and obviously won't hide the fact that the manager doesn't know what he's doing.
37 Posted 29/04/2016 at 09:30:44
No Jagielka, No Funes Mori, No Barry means that Stones has to play and at least two youngsters come into the side or play Besic out of position again - not a good idea.
It also means that as our first and second choice skippers are not available "someone" else will have to be given the armband. I'm guessing it won't be Baines and hoping it won't be McCarthy or Lukaku
Perhaps this is a chance to see if John Stones has the leadership qualities that many of us think he has. I would give him the armband for this game - let's see if he can handle the responsibility.
This would be my starting 11. (442) convertible to (433)
Connolly, Stones (capt), Galloway, Baines
Davies, Gibson, Besic, Mirallas
I'd "rest" Lukaku - I have got a big question mark about this lad's affect on the dressing room. I'd put Barkley in his spot and play Deulofeu just in behind him.
The three Â oldest players are Baines (31), Gibson (28 - yes 28) and Mirallas (28).
That team has got goals in it which we are going to need because its biggest weakness is the lack of height at the back. Â
That would mean Lennon, Cleverley, Pennington, McCarthy, Kone or Niasse on the bench.
Picked for those roles it would send a message to both Stones, and Barkley.
38 Posted 29/04/2016 at 09:57:58
40 Posted 29/04/2016 at 11:34:12
43 Posted 29/04/2016 at 14:15:23
With all due respect, any player who has put in a transfer request should never wear the armband for Everton. I would give the armband to Baines. It probably means DelBoy will get it for his usual 65 minutes and then a hand-off to Baines when Lennon comes on for him.
44 Posted 29/04/2016 at 14:55:00
Feels like the last roll of the dice for RM.
45 Posted 29/04/2016 at 15:57:46
46 Posted 29/04/2016 at 17:13:36
47 Posted 29/04/2016 at 18:06:45
We may as well go down fighting.
48 Posted 29/04/2016 at 18:08:04
49 Posted 29/04/2016 at 22:12:57
50 Posted 29/04/2016 at 23:54:21
He has been through a tremendous ordeal this season and I think he is hurting deeply. He is being, so to speak, refined in the cauldron of adversity - it will strengthen him.
In my view if we Evertonians get behind him and show him that we have faith in him we will end up with one of our greatest footballers and the next captain of England.
In putting in a transfer request he made a mistake however, this Evertonian has forgiven him.
51 Posted 30/04/2016 at 06:19:19
52 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:36:00
53 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:40:02
There are plenty of other mistakes to blame Roberto for, surely ?
54 Posted 07/05/2016 at 12:41:32
If they play next week against Norwich even as subs they would get us all the mood for our protest after the match.
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