Everton have produced some amazing talents in their academy over the years with Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley and Anthony Gordon just a few of the standout performers who have become household names.
Frank Lampard is renowned for his eye for young talent and the development of rising stars, a philosophy the Everton boss successfully implemented whilst managing Chelsea.
The 45-year-old former Premier League midfielder handed top-flight debuts to Mason Mount, Reece James, Tariq Lamptey, Marc Guehi and Armando Broja, all of which have gone on to be some of the best young talents in the league. Meanwhile, the first two named went on to win the Champions League following Lampard’s departure from Stamford Bridge in 2021.
Now the manager must use his talent for spotting the best potential in the youth teams and academies at Finch Farm to improve and strengthen his team in the long term.
One player who has been the recipient of huge interest since rising through the ranks on the blue side of Merseyside is Ishé Samuels-Smith.
Despite only being 16 years of age, the talented left-back has tallied up 25 appearances in the Everton U18s and three appearances for the Everton U21s, more recently featuring in the club’s EFL Trophy run too.
Over his two performances so far in the competition, Samuels-Smith has shown glimpses of his ability winning 71% of his duels and completing 100% of his dribbles, as well as averaging 2.5 interceptions, three tackles and 1.5 clearances per game.
Those are some outstanding numbers that prove he is adept not just in defensive scenarios, but when carrying the ball forward too.
In a Q&A with The Athletic, Patrick Boyland claimed that the youngster was “one to watch” and even revealed that he will be given opportunities to train with the first team too:
“Ishe S-S definitely one to watch. He was best in his group with Emilio Lawrence, who left the club over summer. They did well to keep hold of ISS over summer, because there was plenty of interest.
“Currently away with England U17s, playing left side of central defence. Versatile – also plays full back – so will be interesting to see where he ends up position-wise.”
“There’s a plan for him. Papa John’s minutes + some training opportunities with first team. But he’s still some way off, as expected for 16 y/o.”
With that being said, the future is looking incredibly bright for the young talent and if he continues to flourish over the coming months and years ahead, there will be no doubt that he will attract the attention of the Everton boss in no time at all.