Matthew Pennington’s admission points towards growing problem for Everton youngsters
Everton’s Matthew Pennington, who is currently on loan at Hull, has revealed he was eager to get away from Everton and it is a sentiment which could be shared by the other young players in Everton’s squad.
Pennington, now 24, first broke into the Everton first-team in 2016 under Ronald Koeman. He was once a promising centre-back and he has nine Toffee appearances under his belt, but in the last few years has experienced seven different loan spells.
Under Marco Silva he hasn’t got a look-in and the frustrations over his lack of game time have made him desperate to make a permanent move elsewhere, and he may not be the only player in the squad to feel that way.
Speaking to HullLive, Pennington said: “I couldn’t have stayed at Everton, that was something I didn’t want to do.
“To come out here [Hull] and get some games, that was what I wanted to do. I couldn’t ignore it, I needed to get out.
“I have been looking for it for the last couple of years, it’s not quite happened but I am definitely looking for a permanent home.”
Everton have had mixed success with their young players in recent years. Along with Pennington players such as Mason Holgate and Tom Davies have made the step up, and their game time has varied under different managers.
Others like Jonjoe Kenny, Kieran Dowell and Luke Garbutt have all featured in the first-team but have since been sent out on loan – in some cases numerous times – which suggests they may not be so well regarded by Silva and could go down a similar path to Pennington.
Other young players could follow suit Of the current Everton squad only Davies is an academy product, whilst Holgate joined aged 18. They have had varying success in regard to appearances for the senior team.
2017/18 was the season in which both players featured most regularly, but they have since fallen down the pecking-order slightly – with Holgate loaned to West Brom last season – and their lack of game time looks likely to continue this season.
Their chances of involvement have declined under Silva, and that has partly been due to the club’s increased spending since Farhad Mashiri came in, with players such as Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina joining in recent transfer windows – players who occupy the positions of Davies and Holgate.
If both players continue to see their game time limited, they will likely grow anxious about their development. Ademola Lookman found himself in a similar position and subsequently made a permanent move away, so it could become an ongoing problem for the Toffees.
Pennington may not be the only youngster to find himself caught in limbo at Everton, as youngsters find themselves embedded in a career stage in which they strive and fail to earn a permanent on loan and simultaneously lack the conviction to convince their parent club that they deserve an opportunity to impress.
It’s a damning state of affairs for academy graduates but one that could well become – if it’s not already – a recurring theme at Goodison Park and throughout the Premier League. www.footballfancast.com
The younger players have to take their opportunities when given to them, and be 'very' special in order to keep their place, otherwise their development has to continue elsewhere.
During the 2017-18 season, we used a huge amount of young players throughout various competitions, so not sure many other clubs offer young players the opportunities that Everton do. If they don't shine, they're not going to displace the seniors.
Fancast have created a story that isn't there to be honest.