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What do Nikola Vlasic, Ademola Lookman, Jonjoe Kenny and Davy Klaassen have in common?

Well, at various points during the past few years all four were loaned out by Everton.

And despite pulling up trees away from Goodison Park – at CSKA, RB Leipzig, Schalke and Werder Bremen – they all returned to the blue half of Merseyside to find their first-team prospects non-existent.

12 January Transfers You Might Have Missed

12 January Transfers You Might Have Missed

Vlasic, Lookman and Klaassen were all forced to leave the club to get their careers back on track. Kenny, meanwhile, is now plying his trade north of the border at Celtic after an impressive two-year spell in the Bundesliga.

What the future holds for Anthony Gordon, then, remains to be seen.

After a handful of impressive cameo performances at the back end of 2019/20, the expectation was the Liverpool-born teenager would force his way into Carlo Ancelotti’s plans on a more regular basis this term.

However, after playing just 87 minutes of Premier League football between September and January, Gordon is looking to make up for lost time on loan at Preston North End.

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A 2-1 defeat to Rotherham United didn’t represent an ideal start to life in the Championship but, if you ask Preston supporters, there was one positive to take out of a poor display – a rousing performance from a 19-year-old who might breathe some life into an ailing season for the Lilywhites.

“I thought Anthony looked threatening. I think you can see from him how much talent he potentially has,” Preston manager Alex Neil told LancsLive, before admitting Gordon has plenty of room for improvement.

“I think what he needs to recognise is when to dribble and when to pass, because on occasions they sent a second defender over to double up on him. That’s when he needs to get his head up and find the spare player.”

Ruthless, dead-eyed decision-making will come with time, of course. For now, Gordon appears to have all the tools to make a real impact at Deepdale.

Only time will tell whether that means he’ll avoid the fate that has befallen Kenny, Lookman and co.

Photo by Tony McArdle – Everton FC/Everton FC via Getty Images

Here’s what some Preston fans had to say about Gordon on Twitter:

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