Frank Lampard has some excellent young prospects at Everton which can hopefully lead the club into a new era of not having to spend millions by bringing in talent from the continent.
With Anthony Gordon already established in the Toffees’ starting XI and youngsters such as Thomas Cannon and Stanley Mills shining for the U21s, Lampard is currently spoiled for attacking options.
However, with 21-year-old right-back Kyle John recently signing a new contract until 2024, Lampard could well unearth his next Reece James in the defender.
During the Englishman’s spell in charge of Chelsea, he had to rely on promoting youngsters to the first team due to the transfer embargo that was placed on the Blues at the time.
Mason Mount was player one who made his Premier League debut under Lampard and has gone from strength to strength since, while James was another to be handed his top-flight debut under the 44-year-old manager, before going on to establish himself as a key part of the Chelsea team.
And, John could certainly follow in James’ footsteps under the management of Lampard, as certainly appears to have the ability required ability to force his way into Everton’s first-team squad in the not-too-distant future.
After signing his contract extension, director of football Kevin Thelwell said: “Kyle’s progress with us from the age of six has been clear and consistent – and we’re very pleased to be able to help him continue his journey towards first-team football.”
These are encouraging words and there is a clear pathway for the right back. Having made 63 appearances for the U21s – 56 of which have come in the Premier League 2, over which John has notched three assists – it might be time for a first-team opportunity sooner rather than later.
A year younger than James – who has already won the Champions League and Club World Championship with Chelsea – John still has a lot to learn, but his ceiling is undoubtedly extremely high – with David Unsworth dubbing the youngster both a “bundle of energy” and claiming that the 21-year-old will become a “top player.”
Nathan Patterson is currently ahead of him in the Everton pecking order, but Lampard must be delighted that he has two wonderful young talents who could fight it out for the right-back slot over the next few years.
Awarding an extended contract to John is a show of faith that he must begin to pay back, and while it would be insincere to compare John’s current ability to that of England international James, should the Toffees sensation continue his impressive development, he could well become Lampard’s next unearthed gem at right-back.