If Thierry Small fails to see a pathway to progression at Goodison Park, would he really be better off at Arsenal, Manchester United or Bayern Munich?
That’s the question on the lips of everyone on the blue half of Merseyside today as The Athletic reports the youngest first team player in Everton’s 143-year history is weighing up a move away from the club that handed him a record-breaking debut just six months ago.
It’s believed Small has failed to return for pre-season training, the teen sensation perhaps looking to engineer a move away from Everton.
Small may feel he would be better off honing his talents at a direct Premier League rival, with Arsenal and Man United both expressing an interest in the turbo-charged full-back.
As are Bayern Munich, a club obsessed with luring the best British-based talent to Sabener Strasse after missing out on a 17-year-old Jadon Sancho to Borussia Dortmund.
Would the grass be greener at Arsenal for Everton starlet Thierry Small?
Now, the eagle-eyed among you will point out that, should Small move to Old Trafford or the Allianz Arena, he will have Alphonso Davies, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles and World Cup-winner Lucas Hernandez for competition.
Arsenal, meanwhile, confirmed the £7 million signing of Nuno Tavares at the weekend, with the former Benfica prospect expected to challenge Kieran Tierney for a place in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.
But merely highlighting the fact Arsenal, United and Bayern already have a couple of top-quality left-backs at their disposal misses the point.
While Everton can realistically claim to possess one of the best academies in English football, the Toffees haven’t always provided a pathway from Finch Farm to the first team.
Opportunities quickly dried up for fresh-faced prospects such as Anthony Gordon, Ademola Lookman and Tom Davies following impressive breakthrough performances, while Kieran Dowell, Antonee Robinson and Ryan Ledson were forced to go elsewhere to progress their careers.
And that less-than-impressive track record will do Everton few favours as they look to change Small’s mind.
Here’s what some Everton fans on Twitter had to say about the situation: