Everton have produced several impressive exciting homegrown talents during the Premier League era, and the next future star could be set come off their productive conveyor belt.
The likes of Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley and Tom Davies have all established themselves as top-flight stars down the years, but the best could still be to come from the Toffees talent factory.
Every year, The Guardian newspaper publishes their Next Generation list where they profile the next crop of talent rising through the ranks at Premier League sides. And named amongst the division’s current crop of wonderkids was Everton’s very own Jenson Metcalfe.
At just 17 years old, the defensive midfielder has already caught the eye with several intelligent performances at the base of the engine room for the Merseyside outfits youth sides, earning the praise of many impressed onlookers.
Describing the teenage prodigy, The Guardian’s Andy Hunter wrote: “A real competitor with an outstanding passing range, the Wigan-born midfielder joined Everton at under-5 level and recently signed his first professional contract with the club days after his 17th birthday.
“Metcalfe can play off both feet, has impressive technical ability and is a dead-ball specialist. He can also score a variety of goals and intercepts or regains possession with fierce intensity.”
During the 2020/21 campaign, Metcalfe made 13 competitive appearances from Everton’s U18s and U23s, scoring two goals along the way.
And it’s clear where the youngster sees his game developing over the coming years. When describing his style of play, he said: “I see myself as a tempo-setter, so I look up to Sergio Busquets. He’s so relaxed on the ball.”
With current holding midfielder Allan set to turn 31 in January, Metcalfe could well be the Brazilian’s natural heir, and the club’s supporters have every reason to be excited about his future prospects.
Only time will tell if new manager Rafael Benitez can unearth Everton’s next homegrown hero, although if he continues progressing at his current rate, then it is surely a matter of when rather than if Metcalfe will be involved in his first-team plans.