The Toffees academy graduate was being tipped for great things at Goodison Park back in 2014.
Everton academy graduate Kieran Dowell was listed in The Guardian’s Next Generation 2014 column as the Goodison Park side’s standout prospect, the outlet noting that the Toffees manager at the time, Roberto Martinez, had tipped the then England youth international for a first-team place.
With Dowell turning 22 today, it’s worth casting an eye on his career so far – although he has impressed for Everton at youth and reserve level, he has only made five senior appearances for the club – and the last one in the Premier League was back in April 2016, a three-minute cameo against Bournemouth (Transfermarkt).
The bulk of Dowell’s competitive action has come on loan, with a mixed spell at Nottingham Forest where he was very impressive early on but as the season went on was not quite as impactful for the Reds – though he still reached double figures in terms of goals, with 10 – plus five assists in 43 club appearances (Transfermarkt).
At Sheffield United last season, Dowell enjoyed a half-season loan where he featured 17 times, 16 of which were in the Championship, with eight of those being starts, and given the Blades were promoted in second place, he certainly played his part.
This term, Dowell has been loaned to Derby County, and unfortunately this loan is not going to plan, with just six appearances for the Rams, all of them in August, a public rebuke from Phillip Cocu, who said “he can do better and he has to do better… we can expect more from him” (Derby Telegraph), and this week, an appearance for their Under-23s.
It could be argued that Derby may not have been the best place for him to go to, given the team’s initial struggles in the Championship this term, and under a new manager getting to grips with the English game, but it remains to be seen whether he will be able to win back his place in a Rams setup currently not in the most stable of conditions.
At Everton, meanwhile, he is contracted until the summer of 2021, but given their own issues regarding Marco Silva’s tenure as manager, it wouldn’t be surprising if things were to change there too by the time he gets back – would there be a clean slate for Dowell under a new manager next season? This also remains to be seen.
In other news, Liverpool signing Thomas Meunier would make little sense