Everton sent their under-23 outfit to face League Two side Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, with the young Toffees running out winners on penalties.
After a 1-1 draw in normal time, it was down to the lottery of the play-offs and David Unsworth’s side prevailed 4-1.
The competition will allow several players who are hopeful of graduating into the first team a chance to play football against senior sides.
That can only bode well for Unsworth who will hope to lead the Toffees towards another Premier League 2 title.
One man who really stood out last night was attacking midfielder Anthony Gordon. The 18-year-old scored a stunning solo goal to give Everton the lead at One Call Stadium.
He was lively throughout and such a performance will ask the question as to whether a loan move to the Football League might be more ideal for his development.
With two goals already this season in the under-23’s league campaign, it seems conclusive that he is capable of playing against players who are his age.
In Tuesday’s win, he came up against proven senior footballers such as Jacob Mellis, Matt Preston and Mal Benning, coping extremely well on a positive night for the youngster.
After the game, Unsworth called Gordon a ‘special player’ (Liverpool Echo) and he does look set for a really bright future in the game.
With the loan window still open for League One and League Two clubs to do business, Gordon could theoretically still go out on a temporary basis.
A key part of his development
Whilst he isn’t the finished article, the performance against the Stags might have just showcased to Everton that his development could be better served playing against men.
Of course, a year playing for the under-23 team at the age of 18 wouldn’t be the end of the world, but if he can cut it against men, it would surely put him in good shape as he progresses.
With an eye for goal and dazzling dribbling abilities, he has the potential to be a star attraction for a team in League One or Two.
Even if the Toffees can only get him out until January, it would at least give him a consistent run of games in men’s football.
Original article: https://tbrfootball.com/everton-anthony-gordon/