Everton academy is renowned for producing future stars and bedding them into the first team. Wayne Rooney, Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Ross Barkley, just to name a few.

Academy graduate Thierry Small cemented his place into Everton history when he became the youngest player to appear for the club. The exciting youngster was aged just 16 years and 176 days when he was sent on as a late substitute in Everton’s fourth-round FA Cup tie with Sheffield Wednesday.

The previous record-holder was Jose Baxter, who joined the club as a six-year-old. He went on to make seven first-team appearances before leaving the club.

Hopes for Small are high, with rumours clubs such as Bayern Munich are sniffing around the full-back. Everton will be keen to sign him up to a professional contract as soon as possible and secure his long-term future with the club.

Everton’s academy history is one that other clubs would be envious of. Let’s take a look at five youngsters who we expect to feature in the first team in the coming years.


  1. Reece Welch

The seventeen-year-old centre half put pen to paper on a three-year professional deal in September which will keep him at Goodison Park until June 2023.

Standing at 6’4 the young defender is an imposing figure in the young Blues defence, and he displays the qualities you would expect from a ball-playing defender in the modern game. Composed and skilful on the ball, he has appeared four times for England under-16s and has made the Under-17s squad.

Welch was named by The Guardian as Everton’s best emerging talent in their Next Generation list, with ten appearances for the Toffees under-18s side this season, it likely wont be long before we see him push for a spot in the under-23s.


  1. Tom Cannon

Forward Cannon enjoyed a breakthrough season in the 19/20 campaign before Coronavirus cut the season short.

The Irish youth International had a stunning campaign with sixteen goals in as many games, with the ECHO comparing his style to Jamie Vardy. He has five goal contributions in eleven games with the under-18s this season, but with Ellis Simms going out on loan, there is a spot in the under-23s up for grabs.

Cannon is yet to put pen to paper on a professional deal, but he is said to be patient and hopeful of securing a new deal with Everton.

The youngster won Everton’s goal of the month competition in October with this sensational volley.


  1. Lewis Warrington

Lifelong Everton fan Warrington was offered his first professional deal immediately upon his seventeenth birthday. The tenacious midfielder has been with the club since he was six-years-old and often followed the club home and away with his Dad.

His attributes see him best suited to the number ten and eight roles, but his versatility in midfield has seen him help out deeper in midfield where he’s not afraid of putting a tackle in.

Warrington has featured in all but one of Everton under-18s fixtures this season and there are strong hopes of him featuring in front of the Gwladys Street end, sooner rather than later.

Check out this free-kick from Warrington that saw him join Cannon with a goal of the month award for Everton.




  1. Sean McAllister

Northern Ireland youth International McAllister moved to Everton in the Summer of 2019 from Dungannon.

The midfielder impressed in his debut season with the under-18’s he was rewarded with his first professional contract a year after signing with the club. He was then afforded the privilege of captaincy at the start of the 20/21 season and he is one of the few outfield players to feature in all twelve games so far this campaign.

Missing just eighteen minutes of Everton’s games so far, he has been used in a variety of positions by manager Paul Tait. Despite this, he is currently topping the goals and assists tally with five and four respectively.


  1. Tyler Onyango

Onyango has been with the club since he was eight years old, but he has fast-tracked with his progress through the youth ranks. He signed his first professional contract in the Summer of 2020.

The midfielder was promoted to the under-23s side in the 19/20 campaign despite being just sixteen years old at the time. He joined Small in making his senior debut in the FA Cup fourth round after missing just one game for the reserve side this season.

U23s manager David Unsworth told the Echo “He looks the part, his gains are outstanding, he will get better and better. He’s got the physique, the pace…I’m trying not to get too excited too soon, but I like seeing that”.

Onyango has appeared twice for England under 17’s and I don’t think Everton will be the only side keeping tabs on his progress.