Everton loanee Anthony Gordon produced a lively performance as Preston North End beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 in the Championship on Saturday.
Gordon moved to Deepdale on Deadline Day last month after sealing a last-ditch temporary switch for the remainder of the season, chasing the prospect of regular first-team football.
The Toffees product’s last outing in royal blue came in a 14-minute cameo at home to Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup, having helped Everton through to the fourth round with an assist against Rotherham United 15 days prior.
Despite his role in Cenk Tosun’s early opener and him baffling the Millers’ with his vision and pace, Gordon was slammed for displaying poor body language as the £4.5m-rated prospect let his promising start fade into a miserable afternoon.
Ancelotti’s decision to send Gordon out on loan a week later is now proving a masterstroke, with the youngster getting regular action and being praised for his efforts under Preston boss Alex Neil.
After the Lilywhites romped to a 3-0 win at home to Huddersfield on Saturday, Lancs Live lauded Gordon’s efforts and noted how the Liverpool-born winger was lively throughout the first half and caused the Terriers’ issues with his pace and skill.
Carlos Corberan’s John Smith’s Stadium natives were often forced into fouling Gordon to get him off the ball, while Deepdale Digest compared the Everton prospect’s performance to ex-Blues forward Aiden McGeady for how he is taking control of Preston’s set-pieces and how he‘looks a class act’.
McGeady moved to Deepdale on loan from Everton for the 2016/17 season, in which the current Sunderland attacker scored eight times and assisted nine goals in 34 Championship games.
Gordon is yet to open his account for goals or assists under Neil, but he fashioned a range of chances during his lively afternoon at home to Huddersfield over the weekend.
The midfielder’s closest attempt saw the ball curl over the bar whilst the Terriers searched for an equaliser at 1-0 and he ended his 77 minutes on the field with three shots – far eclipsing his Championship average of 1.2 per game to date, per SofaScore.
Gordon also met his average 1.6 key passes by creating one goalscoring opportunity and he dominated in the duel up against Huddersfield right-midfielder Juninho Bacuna.
While Bacuna lost 10 of his 11 contests on the ground, Gordon won eight of his nine.
The Everton talent also dribbled past opposing players twice from three attempts – only Scott Sinclair (3) and Greg Cunningham (3) made more for either side.
Ancelotti will no doubt be pleased with how Gordon has taken to life on loan with Preston, and he’ll be keen to see his early promise provide results down the stretch ahead of a return to Goodison Park this summer.
AND in other news, Everton are tracking a prolific 15-goal winger backed to reach another level…