The Chalkboard: Kieran Dowell could be a surprise replacement for Andre Gomes

To buy or not to buy is the question on everyone’s lips at Goodison Park.

From Marcel Brands right through to the supporters, the question of whether Andre Gomes is worth the 40 million euro (£34.1m) fee Barcelona could receive, per Marca, for the popular midfielder is a conundrum which splits the mind in two.

And the international break has added a fresh dynamic to consider in the equation in the shape of Sheffield United loanee Kieran Dowell.

On the chalkboard

The 21-year-old midfielder festered in Everton’s reserves for the first half of the season before he was sent to Bramall Lane in January.

An attacking midfielder by trade, Dowell has made a steady impact in 10 appearances for Chris Wilder’s promotion-chasing side, but his call-up to the England Under-21 side provided a fresh challenge for the budding Premier League talent.

Aidy Boothroyd opted to start Dowell at the base of his midfield against Poland and Tuesday night’s defeat against Germany saw him lying deep once again alongside Tom Davies.

Defensively he was a tad suspect in unfamiliar territory, but that was to be expected given his lack of experience.

In possession, however, Everton’s academy product was technically accomplished and showcased glimpses of his potential to operate in a deeper-lying role at club level.

Take a gamble

Dowell is not ready to immediately step into the side to replace Gomes, but the fact the Toffees faithful are not unanimously convinced by the Portugal international’s credentials suggests it’s a gamble not worth taking.

Rather than spending the best part of £34 million on the Barcelona playmaker, Silva should mould Dowell into a number 8 or number 6 to fill the creative void in midfield.

It’s a huge gamble which is unlikely to garner impressive short-term results as Dowell hasn’t made a single Premier League appearance since 2016.

But glimpses from his performances with both the Blades and the Three Lions suggest there is an untapped talent in waiting if Silva utilises him properly, one who could save the club tens of millions in the transfer market.

The next big thing to emerge at Goodison could be right under Brands’ nose.