Everton, over the years, have garnered a reputation as a club that produces high-quality youngsters spanning all the way back to when a wide-eyed Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene as a Toffees teenager before stardom at Manchester United materialised.
In the current Everton set-up, Jarrad Branthwaite is benefiting from the Toffees’ insistence on giving youngsters time to develop and grow before being given a first-team berth – the 21-year-old a regular first-teamer under Sean Dyche this season at the back, learning the ropes of the Premier League quickly and excelling alongside experienced centre-back partner James Tarkowski.
Everton will be hoping that a current teenage phenomenon in their ranks can become a key player in the senior side further down the line, striker George Morgan appearing in the Guardian’s Next Generation 2023 recently – the newspaper in question compiling the very best young talents emerging from all twenty Premier League clubs currently, 17-year-old Morgan tipped for greatness on this list.
The Blues will hope the 17-year-old follows a similar trajectory to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, a young striker able to stamp his authority onto proceedings from the get-go and become a seasoned regular to rely on at Goodison Park.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s numbers for Everton this season
Joining in 2016 from hometown club Sheffield United for £1.5m, the then-teenage Blades sensation has developed into a mature 26-year-old and become a goalscoring hero.
Calvert-Lewin’s biggest obstacle always standing in his way has been question marks around his fitness and his injury record, sidelined frequently to leave the Toffees without a dangerous striker up top – only making 17 top-flight appearances last campaign, as Everton struggled against the drop.
His last goal for the Blues came in their recent slender 1-0 win away at West Ham, turning his Hammers marker effortlessly after being found by Jack Harrison before firing into the net.
Morgan will aspire to replicate what Calvert-Lewin has managed to achieve, another teenage talent expected to make waves in the first team for Everton in the not-so-distant future.
George Morgan’s numbers for Everton
Playing in the Everton U18 ranks at this moment in time, managed by ex-Toffees great Leighton Baines, Morgan is being tipped to have a big future at Goodison Park.
Both of those strikes came versus Sunderland at the end of September, Morgan’s youthful Toffees team beating the Black Cats U18s 3-0.
This has led to Morgan winning International recognition for Wales, winning four U18 caps in total and even assisting versus Scotland when pulling on the red jersey in a convincing 4-2 win over the Scots.
The 17-year-old, who models his game on Polish sharp shooter Robert Lewandowski according to the Guardian article, will continue working hard and hoping he can add to his current two goals soon for the U18s in a bid to push further on to a different age bracket.
If he can become a potent goalscorer on a regular basis in the youth ranks at Everton, Dyche could have an exciting homegrown talent on his hands ready to compete with Calvert-Lewin for a starting spot in the first team very soon.