Anthony Gordon seized his opportunity to impress in Everton’s 3-0 Carabao Cup victory against Salford City with Carlo Ancelotti hailing his eye-catching display on The Toffees’ official website.
Thanks to some inspired summer business, this Everton squad is suddenly looking stronger, sturdier and far more balanced than at any point of the Farhad Moshiri era.
After being left out of the starting XI for Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League win at Tottenham, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moise Kean made their mark with well-taken goals against Salford, while Bernard, Theo Walcott and the returning Jonjoe Kenny offered a timely reminder of their qualities too.
But while the present looks bright at Goodison, the future is positively gleaming.
In 19-year-old left-back Niels Nkounkou, Everton look to have a rough diamond in their midst while fellow teenager Gordon continues to stand out from the pack every time he’s called up to the senior squad.
“(Gordon) did well, he was dangerous in front, one-on-one he was quick, it was a good performance,” Ancelotti said of the Liverpool-born youngster, who was denied a goal when he hit the bar late on.
“Every player wants to play, I know this, but he is young. He has to improve step by step.
“His performance is good. He has to be focused in training, work hard and he will be a good player because he has the skills and ability.”
The fact Everton had to fight off competition from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund when tying the England under-19 international down to a long-term contract speaks volumes about the potential this fresh-faced forward possesses.
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Everton’s opening fixtures of the 2020/21 season
West Brom (H)
Crystal Palace (A)