By 90Min
July 21, 2019

Everton fans have every right to be excited. Not only do they have a team full of potential with a progressive manager at the helm, but they are also being linked to some big names such as Mario Mandzukic and Moise Kean.

Toffees fans should not, however, become distracted by marquee signings. Lurking about at Goodison Park are a host of young players who will look to snatch first-team opportunities if and when they come. All will believe they have what it takes to integrate themselves into Marco Silva's starting XI, and this year may finally be the breakout season they've been waiting for.


Beni Baningime

Beni Baningime

Most Everton fans will be wondering what happened to Beni Baningime. Having emerged from the shadows when David Unsworth was brought in to steady the ship after Ronald Koeman's sacking, the youngster looked steady and composed on the ball, was willing to scrap, and charged around the centre of the pitch like he had a point to prove.

Since his flirtation with the first team in 2017, he has sought to continue his progression, but a dodgy loan spell at Wigan in the back end of last season suggests his progress has stalled. He may be one of many young players who needs to play against better counterparts to improve, and with Muhamed Besic and James McCarthy looking unlikely to stay on Merseyside for long, first-team opportunities may be possible. 

As proven by his stint in the team two years ago, Baningime has all the necessary attributes to give the likes of new signing Fabian Delph a run for his money in the starting XI. 


Nathan Broadhead

Nathan Broadhead,Anthony O'Connor,Nathaniel Knight-Percival

There is a lot of excitement buzzing around Goodison Park about Nathan Broadhead. Having collected Everton's Under-23 Player of the Season award, the tricky winger has the potential to terrify Premier League defenders if given the chance.

Described by the club's website as a "skilful forward blessed with two good feet", he impressed in Everton's pre-season win against Monaco and has the speed and agility to be an option off the bench at the very least. And with Ademola Lookman edging closer towards the exit door by the hour, there could be a place in the first team for a new, young and dynamic winger.


Lewis Gibson

FBL-KEN-KARIOBANGI-EVERTON-FRIENDLY

Even in the mad, inflated transfer market of the modern footballing world, eyebrows were understandably raised when Everton parted with £6m in order to sign teenager Lewis Gibson. His performances since have reportedly made members of Everton's coaching team believe they have done the deal of the century.

The centre-back, like Broadhead, featured in the match against Monaco, and Silva would have been watching his progress closely. A ball-playing defender who is strong in a tackle, the Everton manager must surely be considering the 19-year-old as worthy of first-team action. And with Kurt Zouma seemingly set to stay at Chelsea, there's a six-foot gap at the centre of defence.


Tom Davies

Gylfi Sigurdsson,Tom Davies

Given the amount of time Tom Davies has spent in and around the first team, there's a debate to be had about whether he can even be placed in a 'best youngster' category any more. What cannot be debated is Davies' surprising failure to kick off from when he first broke into the footballing mainstream, featuring heavily in Everton's incredible 4-0 demolition of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

A technical midfielder who likes to free up space for his teammates and conduct play from the centre, Davies can be a joy to watch but also consistently frustrating. With Andre Gomes signing up permanently, Davies should, in theory, struggle to find too much first-team football. But his clear, natural footballing ability should mean he'll always get a look-in. 


Mason Holgate

Mason Holgate

Like Davies, Mason Holgate is very knowledgable about the interior of the first team dressing room at Goodison Park. Even so, he is yet to be called a true success as a youth product and still has time and space to grow. Perhaps this season he will be able to claim a permanent spot in the first-team, with his main competition Jonjoe Kenny gone for a year on loan to Schalke and Seamus Coleman not the dominant right-back he used to be.

Holgate impressed during his loan at West Brom last season as well and can surely factor into Silva's plans given his versatility and willingness to operate anywhere among the back line. His game time in both of England's top two tiers also suggests he has enough to develop into a highly-competent defender.


Henry Onyekuru

FBL-TUR-SUPER LIG-GALATASARAY-BASAKSEHIR

Despite having been at Everton since 2017, first-team opportunities have been virtually non-existent for Henry Onyekuru. This trait followed him to the Africa Cup of Nations, where, despite Nigeria reaching the semi-finals, he was reduced to mere minutes on the pitch.

It is baffling why both club and country do not see the potential that many football observers would claim is laughably obvious. His 14 goals and three assists on loan at Galatasaray last season supported the idea that a very good winger lingers inside the 22-year-old. If football director Marcel Brand and Silva see his future at Merseyside, he has enough ability to force his way into the first team. 

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