Everton fans were treated to a handful of summer signings in 2018, who have all made a telling difference so far this season, but there are murmurs emerging from the academy ranks which suggest that the youth system could still provide a breeding ground for the next generation of talent.
Indeed, the Toffees have become increasingly more extravagant in the transfer market in recent years and less reliant on promoting players organically.
That is a trend which is evident throughout the Premier League, but it’s important that academy systems don’t become redundant in the new economic landscape.
With that being said, Marco Silva should keep a close eye on developments at youth level this season, and one player who should be on his radar is Kieran Phillips.
The clinical centre-forward, 18, has scored 10 goals in 10 games for the U18 side this season, but he is yet to make an appearance for the U23 side.
Considering his record in front of goal so far it should only be a matter of time before he is handed an opportunity to prove himself at a higher level, and when that time comes it will be interesting to see how he fares.
That Phillips has been handed the captain’s armband in his last eight appearances for the U18’s suggests he is highly regarded by Everton’s coaching staff as both a player and a charismatic leader in the dressing room.
Those qualities are bound to take him far at Everton and, if he can continue to find the back of the net at the rate which he is currently boasting, Silva’s attention will naturally move in his direction.
It’s still early days in Phillips’ career but he is a talent who could yet become a hero among the Goodison Park faithful.
Everton fans – thoughts? Let us know below!