Everton are weighing up whether it is wise to send Ademola Lookman out on loan until the end of the season.
The Liverpool Echo understands that the Toffees are planning to let the 20-year-old leave Goodison Park temporarily so that he can play regular first-team football elsewhere.
Lookman has not had much of a look in under Blues boss Sam Allardyce since his appointment in late November, and needs game time if he is to fulfil the potential he has shown in flashes.
The arrival of Theo Walcott from Arsenal for £20m has further forced the ex-Charlton Athletic starlet down the pecking order on Merseyside, although the departure of Aaron Lennon means there are opportunities still available to him.
However, it is unlikely that Lookman will see many minutes on the pitch despite Evertonians calling for his inclusion in the side in recent weeks as the club lurches through another sticky patch.
Lookman starred from the bench in Everton's 2-1 FA Cup defeat to rivals Liverpool at the start of January but hasn't been since.
Why? Is this what Sam meant when he said ‘become more boring’? Stick a decent left back behind him and give him a run of games ffs— david van Os (@notoffended1978) January 25, 2018
(You may also be interested in Everton Outcast Sandro Ramirez Urges Club to Expedite January Exit)
The winger was also one of the team's best performers in their 3-0 Europa League dead rubber against Apollon Limassol - the teenager scoring a brace to put the gloss on a routine win.
Those displays have not helped his chances of earning starts for the Toffees, however, and a stint at Championship or even League One level could now be on the cards for him.
The £11m January 2017 arrival scored on his debut in the 4-0 romp over Manchester City last year and his skill, pace and end product would be advantageous to Everton in their current predicament.
I’m a red and I think it would be utterly stupid sending that lad on loan. He’s a baller, he’s been impressive when played and offers creativity and pace. Play him not loan him— scott burke (@scottburke75) January 25, 2018
Allardyce, though, may opt to send him out on loan if he feels the time away from L4 will benefit Lookman far more than substitute appearances.
The 63-year-old said recently of his young stars: “Some of them are a lot of young talent that has developed and needs developing and maybe we might choose to let that development happen somewhere else on loan until the end of the season.”