Bowler goes on loan with a new contract

Thursday, 18 July, 2019 36comments  |  Jump to last
Josh Bowler has signed a 1-year contract extension with Everton and agreed to a season-long loan move to Championship team Hull City.

The Everton Under-23s attacker's new deal runs through June 2021 but the 20-year-old will spend next season with Hull as they seek a return to the Premier League.

Bowler joined Everton from Queens Park Rangers 2 years ago and played a key role in the Under-23s double-winning success last season, scoring the goal against Brighton & Hove Albion which clinched the Premier League 2 title.

“It was a big move for me to come to Everton and I have always thought it was the right one,” Bowler told “This contract validates that belief and is an important step for me.

“My game has evolved in the past 2 years. I have grown wiser in my playing style and started to contribute more goals and assists, which is vital in my position.

“Being asked to sign an extension makes you feel wanted and that you are hitting your targets. To know you have that time at the Club gives you more freedom and allows you to focus on your football.”

Bowler was invited to train with Marco Silva's first team on a number of occasions last season and played the second 45 minutes of Everton's opening pre-season friendly against Kariobangi Sharks in Kenya.

And when it was determined that Bowler's progression would be aided with a season away from Goodison Park, his destination was chosen in consultation with Director of Football Marcel Brands.

“Marcel knows what is right for me and it is great this loan has his backing because you trust in his football knowledge,” said Bowler.

“He knows everything about football, so the fact he thinks this is good for me fills me with confidence.

“To train with the players in Everton's first team is an eye-opener. It allows you to gauge where you are with your game. You are learning every second you're there. I try to pick up everything I can on and off the pitch.

“Theo [Walcott], who plays in my position, is always in the gym and works so hard. I am going to try to emulate that and do what he does… that's what you need to do to succeed.”

Hull, who were relegated from the Premier League two seasons ago, finished 13th in last season's Championship and Bowler is promising to do his utmost to help engineer an upturn in fortunes at the KCOM Stadium.

“You are playing for a fanbase which cares passionately about the club and you have to do the same; to invest the same passion and show the same heart as the fans,” added Bowler.

“Our success with the Under-23s has given me the hunger to want to achieve more at Hull. I will try my best in every game, do everything I can for Hull, and I hope that shows to the supporters.

“Wherever I am, I will play my heart out and try to impress as many people as possible.”  

Reader Comments (36)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:06:45
Excellent news for the young man. He was quite impressive for the U23s. This is his chance to bloom.

Go get 'em, kid.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:13:03
Agree with Mike G, of all the kids we have he certainly looks to be very close to a breakthrough, hope he gains the necessary experience to return ready to be included in the first team squad.
Chris Gould
3 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:14:53
Interesting what he said about Walcott. Explains why Silva rewarded him with game time over Lookman.

Bowler sounds like a good kid with his head screwed on.

James Morgan
4 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:25:43
Interesting how he mentions Marcel which tells me Mr Brands has got a watchful eye over all aspects of the playing side of the club and has a plan for these youngsters. Good luck, lad.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:26:13
The way Josh plays now, he'll have the Hull City fans (and the manager) up out of their seats one minute and tearing their hair out a couple of minutes later, he's that sort of player.

Obviously still learning, tremendous dribbling skills, maybe holds on to the ball too much, but makes some great through passes and scores a few.

He frustrated the life out of me in the Premier League Cup final versus Newcastle, wasting two or three passes in the final minutes with mates waiting and in on goal with only the ‘keeper to beat, but he failed to deliver the pass.

This is a good move for Bowler. I wish him well and hope he comes back a better player.

Jay Wood

6 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:29:17
Chris I agree. That was interesting what Bowler said about Walcott which rather negates claims by some that Theo is a mercenary just picking up his pay cheque.

This is also further evidence of the new model with regard Everton's academy and imported younger players (following Robinson's transfer to Wigan and Lookman's pending departure to Leipzig) being implemented by Brands (primarily, I imagine) and Silva.

Plenty on TW down the years bewail the fact that so few make the step up from the academy to the first team, and that too many are retained for too long before eventually being released for free without getting a fee for them.

Offloading Robinson for hard cash; 2-3 times profit on Lookman, this is sending the message to young players that Everton will not continue being a cozy gravy train for marginal players. Step up, or be shipped out.

There is a carrot and stick to the Bowler deal: we've given you an extra year beyond this season in which you can prove your worth in the Championship, so on your return to Everton, if you've done well, you can compete for a first team place. If you don't improve, expect to be sold on so we get some return on you.

I like the model.

Kris Boner
7 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:36:15
Have to admit Jay, my thought process left me quite grumbled with the loss of Robinson and potential loss of Lookman, but I like cut of your argument if true.

Trying to imagine Everton as a lean mean football playing machine is so antithesis to my life as an Everton fan thus far.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:47:01
If you had to pick one player in the Everton squad who you know could be one of the best players in the league if he was just a little bit braver, then it would have to be Theo Walcott.

He has pace to burn, he looks like he finds it easy going past a player, and he can also finish... so wouldn't it be great if Walcott could put it all together? He'd be one hell of a player if he did!

I also hope Bowler has a good season; this looks like it could be a great move for the kid.

Derek Knox
9 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:50:33
Chris @3, & Jay @6, it's all very well impressing Marco with hard work in training, and gaining admiration in the process from Josh, but as we have all witnessed how often did that translate into success on the pitch?

Surely Marco, who seemed to continually pick Walcott, if fit, over anyone in that position, should have seen the same, if he did, that is a bit worrying to me. Model in training and a turkey for the most part on the field of play.

Pat Kelly
10 Posted 18/07/2019 at 15:54:16
Please don't emulate Walcott. One is more than enough.
Jack Convery
11 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:05:01
Good luck to him. The move makes good sense and now it's up to him.
Martin Berry
12 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:15:18
I am all in favor of players going out on loan, it sorts them out and they either learn and thrive or they don't, you then know if you have a player who could make it. If he is good enough then he will get that all important playing time.

Playing in a rough and tumble league like the Championship will hopefully improve Josh and I wish him well, he has a lot of potential..

Jay Wood

13 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:18:12
Derek and others. I made absolutely no mention of Theo Wacott's contribution and performances on the pitch. Like others, I have often found them wanting.

My observation was strictly limited to Bowler's own comments on the fellah and how he trains:

"Theo [Walcott], who plays in my position, is always in the gym and works so hard. I am going to try to emulate that and do what he does… that's what you need to do to succeed."

It's not just about doing it (or not!) on match day. It's about dedication and application for the bulk of a professional footballer's working week.

If Josh is in admiration of a soon-to-be-30 full international for his continued dedication and application who could (as labelled by some on TW) opt to coast and pick up his weekly cheque without putting the hard yards in, then I consider that a compliment to both players.

Kieran Kinsella
14 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:26:40
Read an article recently with one of his old QPR coaches mouthing off about how moving to Everton delayed his progress and the article made a comparison with Matthew Kennedy (remember him?). This move suggests otherwise. Hull are a good club. Despite various terrible owners down the years, they usually punch above their weight.
Sam Hoare
15 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:36:06
Bowler began to look much better in the second half of the season for the U23s though still prone to bad decision making as Dave Abrahams pointed out.

I hope that Hull sell Jarrod Bowen or else I'm not convinced Bowler will get much time in his favoured right-wing slot. If he can get 20-30 games on loan, then it will really help him develop.

It's been a while since an U23 player stepped up to really nail down a first-team run. Is Calvert-Lewin the last one? Or Kenny maybe?

David Pearl
16 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:50:33
I think will have to wait for the following season to see any other youngster pushing for our first team. And then question marks if any can.

I see another rumour of Zaha coming with his odds slashed on joining the blues after an apparent large bet being placed. I doubt it like... but they might be interested in taking Bolasie back. We should've gone for Zaha in the first place.

Peter Mills
17 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:53:26
I have only watched him once, in that Premier League Cup Final against Newcastle. Most people seemed to be impressed with him, but for all the world he reminded me of James McFadden.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, James had plenty of talent, but perhaps he lacked the application. A year at Hull will test Josh's mentality, and be a great challenge. Good luck to the lad.

Tommy Carter
18 Posted 18/07/2019 at 16:59:13
@17 Pete

I agree. McFadden and Bowler have similar qualities.

Was there a lack of application from McFadden? He always seemed to try as far as I could see and I can't recall much off the field distraction.

I think what held McFadden back was a serious lack of pace and him being quite lightweight. He tried to press and close down but he always seemed a bit flimsy in doing so. Maybe he didn't put the hours in down the gym, or perhaps he was never advised to

Peter Mills
19 Posted 18/07/2019 at 17:11:31
Tommy#18, I was trying to cover too many things with the word “”application”.

There is not a huge amount that can be done about a lack of speed but, as you say, there is the question of heart, fight, determination, and then that undefinable factor (nouse?) of whether a player can do the right thing at the right time under pressure.

I have to say I thought Josh lacked that nouse, which is why a season in the Championship will be an excellent test of his mettle.

Bobby Mallon
20 Posted 18/07/2019 at 17:32:30
Jesus, some on here are harsh. Here's a lad coming out with all the right words, wants to work hard, has the right attitude, and some people start comparing him to others. Get a grip – he's a youngster going on loan. If he makes it, great; if not, he will probably sign for Hull full time.
Hugh Jenkins
21 Posted 18/07/2019 at 17:44:13
Sam (15) - I'm sure I've seen somewhere that Jarrod Bowen is coming to us on a season-long loan?
Hugh Jenkins
22 Posted 18/07/2019 at 17:48:55
Pat (10) - Perhaps if Lookman had emulated Walcott (from what Bowler says about Walcott and what Silva says about Lookman), we, as a club, might have been better off all round and Lookman would not now be heading to Leipzig.
Tommy Carter
23 Posted 18/07/2019 at 18:17:01

Thanks Pete. Appreciate you pointing this out as I have not had the chance to see much of Bowler. He came with a big reputation so obviously he has ability. A big step up is required. I hope he can take it.

The championship is a great test I think for young players looking to make their way in the game.

Reece Brown of Chelsea was incredible at Wigan last season. It's a shame about their embargo as I'd have liked us to pusruse this guy. He's versatile having performed brilliantly in centre midfield for Chelsea although I believe he is preferred at right back.

Had we signed him I believe he could've played a lot of football for us in the premier league given Silva wants competition / cover for Coleman and that we are looking to offload several midfield players. Watch out for him.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 18/07/2019 at 18:59:07
Peter@19, it was definitely nouse that let McFadden down imo, and he used to remind me of a kid in the playground sometimes, never really grasping the old adage, about there being more than one way to skin a cat!
James Flynn
25 Posted 18/07/2019 at 19:24:12
Looking at the kids going out on loan, it's another way for Brands to help ease the wage problems we will have this season and next.

None of these kids are on substantial wages, unlike the seniors we're stuck with specifically due to their wages. Yes, they can find a club could use them but no chance that club picking up the full salaries.

Derek Knox
26 Posted 18/07/2019 at 19:35:21
Jay @ 13, I wasn't having a go at you there for your post, so sorry if you interpreted it that way, the point I was trying to make, is that it is worrying that if you train well (which they should all do) and you don't convert that into the play on the pitch, Marco will still pick you regardless of that.

As Tony @8 said Walcott has all the tools in his locker but rarely uses them to the benefit of the team. In the two seasons he has been with us, I can only recall a couple of decent performances, which is ridiculous considering he is not only one of the more experienced, but one of the top earners.

Jay Wood

27 Posted 18/07/2019 at 20:17:01
Derek @ 26. Don't fret! I didn't interpret your post as you describe it at all, Derek.

Another way you can describe your scenario of 'good trainer-bad match day player-wrong message being sent' is this:

I doubt Silva is so blind and dumb that he couldn't see or recognize, as good a trainer as he is, Walcott has not delivered consistently enough on match day. If he had a better alternative to select ahead of him, I'm sure Silva would have picked him.

Indeed he did. In season, he DID drop Walcott and gave Lookman a run. The young man did not do enough to cement his place in the side at Walcott's expense.

In the latter part of the season, Walcott was only getting games from the bench as our starting front three were Bernard-DCL-Richarlison.

Perhaps it is a sadder reflection on the squad players challenging Walcott for his place that they were neither the equals of or better than him, be it at training or on match day.

The (by now) oft-repeated mid-season public comments Silva made about Lookman one day giving his manager hope that finally, he was 'getting it', only to regress the next day was a huge red flag to me that things weren't/aren't 'right' with Lookman.

I can't recall the manager being so publicly critical about any other player in his first year with us as he was that day.

Lookman may well blossom into a very fine player. He will only do so if, like Bowler intends, he follows the example Walcott evidently displays in training and is dedicated and professional in his application outside of actual match day.

I will repeat what I said in my original post in this thread, for me Brands is introducing a healthy new model for our academy and fringe players: the Goodison gravy train is in the shed and no longer offering concessions. Produce and progress to the first team, or be sold so we get hard cash for you.

I like it.

Alan J Thompson
28 Posted 19/07/2019 at 04:57:24
I wonder why we bother buying these youngsters if we don't have the facility to improve them. Might as well just pay other clubs a retainer and the player's wages and ask them to continue whatever it is they do that makes us think these kids are worthwhile. Or are we really that desperate that we will use any means to reduce the wage bill.

And before anyone asks how else will they get competitive games to show their improvement ask how many of those we have loaned out have actually returned so improved. I don't know but I wouldn't think it was a very high percentage.

Michael Kenrick
29 Posted 19/07/2019 at 05:46:08
They're good questions, Alan. Seems there's been a change over the last 2-4 years with us hoovering up a lot more young talent from wherever on the off-chance, then being forced to loan out more and more of them as they are presumably deemed to be too advanced for the U23s but not yet good enough to challenge for a first-team place.

It underlines the deepening void between Silva's squad and Unsworth's squad, which I find ironic given the massive efforts in recent years to increase the competitive standard for the U23s, who are now playing a lot more games and competitions — including the controversial Checkatrade Trophy, where they play against first teams out of League One and League Two.

I say 'controversial' because there was some resistance to these games from the Football League sides, apparently. But significantly, we've never progressed out of the group stage, again showing the depth of the gap.

I guess it was a case of having to keep up with the likes of Chelsea, who seem to have created the talent grab and loan model. Although the variant you suggest is pretty much what we did with Shani Tarashaj, and he's gone backwards to oblivion.

I don't think on balance this loan business works, in that there's far more players loaned out, then ultimately released or offloaded, than there are stars who finally make the grade. Whereas, on the very rare occasion when we find real talent, that simply rises to the top through the ranks without the need for a loan. I guess I'm thinking John Stones rather than Ross Barkley... but you can cite examples to fit whatever case you want to make!

Kieran Kinsella
30 Posted 19/07/2019 at 05:56:28
Michael 29

To your point, I think the last successful loanee to break into the first team was Coleman. Barkley had a few unsuccessful loans that I don't think helped his first team progression. Holgate had a good loan year AFTER two years of fairly frequent first team appearances.

Eddie Dunn
31 Posted 19/07/2019 at 09:03:53
A good mate of mine watched young Bowler at QPR and he was gutted when we stepped in for him. A lad with buckets of talent but as Dave A' pointed out he lacks a little composure and needs to get his head up a bit more.
It will be interesting seeing how he gets on at Hull.
Alan J Thompson
32 Posted 19/07/2019 at 11:09:40
Michael(#29); Thanks for your thoughts on the matter, Michael, but I don't think Tarashaj is a good example having sustained an injury in a friendly for Everton and then loaned to a German club not the Swiss side from whom he was purchased. From there he has gone to another club in Switzerland and now Holland and all this while not being a junior but a Swiss international having seen, it could be said, five different Everton managers.

A lot might point out that it could weaken our 1stXI but I think that if we believe we have a talent then a spot on the bench with the chance of some time on the pitch could be a lot more informative. At the moment I think we're seeing what a lot of new managers do, sign players they know or think may be an improvement rather than showing these superb coaching skills about which we keep hearing. Or perhaps it is me, thinking that the Manager/Head Coach takes an overview of all levels within the club, although it could be the DOF in consultation with the U23s coach.

Paul Burns
33 Posted 19/07/2019 at 11:30:38
Can't see the point of youth teams anymore, almost all of them won't make it and any decent players get flogged off to man u, chelsea or city.
Just stick to the first team and sign ready made players from abroad, seems harsh but its the only way to operate in the modern game.
Peter Gorman
34 Posted 20/07/2019 at 03:27:31
Jesus, Paul. Who said romance in football is dead.
Justin Doone
35 Posted 20/07/2019 at 08:59:53
Good luck Bowler. I've not seen a lot of him but Beagrie rather than Walcott spring to mind for a comparison.

Ability and Potential yes. Quick football brain and team player not so sure.

Gavin Johnson
36 Posted 25/07/2019 at 21:09:11
A player who seems to have developed a lot lately. After hearing very little about him in his first season at the club. Knowing where he has improved means he has been able to measure his progress. Long may it continue.

Some people seem surprised about Bowler's comments on Walcott. I'm not surprised at all. We sold a player today who on ability alone should have played more games last season, but Walcott wasn't giving Silva any other choice than to pick him. A few TW posters got pouty when it was suggested by some that Lookman's temperament wasn't as it should be at times last season, even though Silva confirmed this was the case when the kid was denied his move. Well maybe instead of saying Lookman had a bad attitude at times it will make them happier to rather say that Walcott was a model pro and worked harder in training and didn't give the manager much choice but to pick him over Lookman

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