Marcel Brands would be making a major mistake by awarding Everton prospect Kyle John a new contract.
According to David Unsworth, while speaking with the Liverpool Echo, the Toffees are hopeful of retaining John’s services.
The 20-year-old is due to be out of contract this June and was considered to be one of 13 senior and Under 23 players facing uncertain futures.
But the club intend to present John with a new deal before securing a suitable loan transfer for next season, after he was promoted to Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team fold.
“Hopefully, we want to keep him,” Unsworth said. “He’s a great kid with great pace and I’m sure at some point next season we will look to give him the experience of going out on loan.”
John is currently training with Everton’s first-team and has been named in four matchday squads by Ancelotti this season, having impressed with his form at junior level and due to a mounting injury crisis.
While John has been given a seat on the bench for three Premier League games and last month’s FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, his promotion came out of necessity more than form with Ancelotti seeing his squad ravished by injuries.
The Toffees boss was down to only one natural central midfield option in Tom Davies at Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday with Abdoulaye Doucoure (foot), Jean-Philippe Gbamin (knee), Fabian Delph (tendon), Allan and Andre Gomes (hamstring) all missing.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (abductor), Jordan Pickford (abdominal) and Bernard were also out, forcing Ancelotti to name several youngsters on the bench – including John, Harry Tyrer, Reece Welch and Isaac Price, who are yet to make their senior debuts – and have Alex Iwobi as his only proven senior impact player.
Had the injury crisis not been so severe at Goodison Park, John would likely still be waiting for his first-team promotion, and it would be a major mistake by Brands to now retain the youngster with Everton on the search for Seamus Coleman’s long-term successor.
John has proven unable to break into Ancelotti’s plans ahead of Coleman or Mason Holgate, and reports continue to link Everton with a summer swoop for Norwich City’s £30m right-back Max Aarons – who is said to be keen on a move.
Spending that sort of money on a 21-year-old Aarons would raise serious question marks over John being considered a long-term option on Merseyside, even if Unsworth has previously claimed “we expect a lot from him”.
Instead, Brands would be delaying the inevitable by locking down John’s services for at least another season, when the 20-year-old could be getting a head start on his inevitable search for a permanent home for the future.