Marco Silva has given his assurances that 18-year-old attacker Anthony Gordon will remain at Goodison Park.
Gordon is still waiting to make his Premier League debut for the Toffees – he was named on the bench for Everton’s win at Southampton, but Silva opted against bringing the youngster on.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the Portuguese manager said: “Just because of that he didn’t have the chance until now because when you have Theo (Walcott), Richarlison, Bernard, Alex Iwobi, Moise Kean can play there as well, it is not easy.”
Gordon made his sole appearance for the first team in 2016, coming on as a substitute in a Europa League game against Apollon Limassol.
The Englishman has remained a regular in Everton’s youth setup, scoring six goals and registering three assists for the U23’s this season.
Silva praised Gordon’s attitude in training despite his lack of playing time, and the number of more experienced players ahead of him in the pecking order.
“I really like him as a football player,” the 42-year-old said. “He is showing me to every single session that he is there to fight even if he is too young, even if the position he plays is one of the positions we have more quality in our squad.”
Silva highlighted that Gordon can still play a role for Everton’s first team this season, but reiterated how important the Liverpool-born forward can be in the club’s long-term plan.
“He can be the present but will be the future of Everton Football Club and will have a fantastic career if he has people here to help him, keep helping him, keep teaching him because they need that. He will be a fantastic football player.”
“He is a player I am 100 per cent sure will be the future of Everton Football Club.”
Meanwhile, U23 boss David Unsworth has all but confirmed that defender Matty Foulds will leave the club at the end of the season.
Foulds, 21, joined Everton from Bury for a reported six-figure fee in January 2016, but has failed to break into the first team.
The Yorkshireman has been a regular starter in the U23’s defence over the past few seasons, and Unsworth was keen to praise his contribution.
“He’s a steady player but he’s a great lad first and foremost,” Unsworth said. “He’s done a great job for us over the last couple of years.”
Foulds was signed by former Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who described him as a “very exciting” player, but new boss Silva has not been convinced.
Unsworth hinted that the left-sided defender might have to look elsewhere in his pursuit of first team football.
“I would probably think that this is his last year at this level,” said the former Everton caretaker manager.
“He needs to forge a career for himself wherever that might be.”
Elsewhere, Tom Davies, another product of Everton’s youth academy, was included in Garth Crooks’ team of the week following an impressive performance in the Toffees 2-1 win over Southampton on Saturday.
“In the absence of Andre Gomes, the abilities of Tom Davies in midfield have become even important to Everton,” Crooks wrote.
“What a relief it must have been then for the beleaguered Marco Silva, who for some reason is still under pressure at Goodison Park, that Davies was quite outstanding away at Southampton.”