David Unsworth is a huge fan of young Goodison Park prospect Ryan Astley, with a big Everton future awaiting the Welshman.
Ryan Astley could be named the new captain of Everton’s U23 side, according to the Liverpool Echo, despite the fact that the Welsh centre-back is just 18.
It is fair to say the Toffees have underachieved somewhat in the Premier League over the last few years, despite the fact that majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has spent around half a billion pounds of his hard-earned cash on new signings since taking over from Bill Kenwright in 2016.
But, behind the scenes, the Merseyside giants deserve huge praise for their performances at youth level.
Everton have won the Premier League 2 title twice in the last three seasons with Mason Holgate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny and Tom Davies being promoted to the first-team picture as a result.
And Astley, a Wales U19 international, is the latest fresh-faced prospect who is turning heads at Finch Farm.
The Echo reports that the teenager has spent time training with the senior stars, a la Richarlison, Andre Gomes and Gylfi Sigurdsson, in recent months.
And, while a senior debut may still be some way off, Everton look set to hand Astley a big show of faith, with the U23 captaincy heading his way once long-serving skipper Morgan Feeney leaves Goodison on a free in the summer.
Considering that Astley is just 18, this speaks volumes about the natural-born leadership ability that has helped the versatile defender stand head and shoulders above the rest at Everton.