Were Everton foolish to let Kieran Dowell go out on loan again?
With Norwich so publically slipping up away at Preston on Wednesday night, the Championship title race still remains too close to call.
One team who will really fancy their chances of booking a return to the Premier League will be a revitalized Sheffield United.
Now unbeaten in their last four appearances, Chris Wilders’ side now sit just three points adrift of climbing to the top of the table.
If the Blades are to end their 12-year exile from the top-flight, then they will be looking for talented Everton loanee Kieran Dowell to carry on his eye-catching run.
Putting in yet another notable performance in midweek, many around Goodison believe that Marco Silva could have been foolish to allow the 21-year-old to leave Merseyside on loan yet again.
Massive win that blades, kieran dowell is something else ?
— Evan ⚔ (@evaneaton2000) February 13, 2019
Dowell continues to shine on his Championship return
While Dowell may have only made six appearances for United following his January switch, he is a player who has gained plenty of Championship experience.
Spending last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, the Everton loanee was highlighted to be one of the purchases of the campaign, bagging 10 goals in his 43 appearances under then boss Aitor Karanka.
Although Dowell has been the first to admit he has been disappointed by the lack of opportunities under Silva, a move to Bramall Lane could be the perfect platform for him to replicate one of the Premier League’s latest stars.
A left-footed midfielder with bags of creativity and potential, it is unsurprising that Dowell’s move to Sheffield has drawn plenty of comparisons to former Blades playmaker, David Brooks, the man he was brought in to replace.
Much like Dowell has done in his short tenure at United, Brooks’ eye-catching season saw him earn an £11.5million Premier League move last summer.
Hitting the ground running since making his move to Bournemouth, the forward has established himself in Ryan Giggs’ Wales squad and remains in pole position to be shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year.
Although United were undoubtedly weakened by Brooks’ departure, Dowell has done more than enough to fill the 21-year-olds void.
Some will feel that Dowell has earned the chance to follow in the footsteps of the long list of young British playmakers who have been handed the chance to shine in the Premier League.
Along with Brooks securing a move to the Vitality, the former Norwich duo of Alex Pritchard and newly crowned England international James Maddison have impressed since moving to Huddersfield and Leicester respectively.
Is Dowell the answer to Everton’s creative issues?
While Dowell may have displayed his versatility and put in an impressive display as a makeshift left-wing back in midweek, the 21-year-old has earned his reputation as a creative playmaker.
As fans around Goodison will be more than aware of, that is an area that the Toffees’ have drastically struggled with under the former Watford boss.
Now managing to find the net in just one of their last three Premier League outings, Gylfi Sigurdsson’s ongoing struggles have played a huge part in Everton’s lack of creativity in the final third.
Despite showing glimpses of the player that Everton paid £45million for back in the summer of 2017, the Icelandic skipper has failed to live up to his price tag and has been hit with a string of untimely injuries.
Under a new era with a new manager, it was expected Sigurdsson would spearhead a more attack-minded Blues midfield and use his passing abilities to unlock opposition defences.
However, having already made 27 league appearances this season, Sigurdsson is yet to improve on last season’s assist tally of three.
The former Swansea man has now recorded just one goal and is still looking for his first assist over his past nine appearances.
Remarkably, despite signing for Chelsea 13 months ago, former playmaker and fan favourite Ross Barkley has still produced the most chances from open play for Everton over the last three seasons.
With Silva unable to call upon another natural #10 who can create chances and play between the lines, many on Merseyside are beginning to ask why the Toffees were so willing to let Dowell leave.
Silva’s lack of faith?
Despite Silva’s tactics coming under some heavy scrutiny in the second half of the season, the Portuguese boss has remained loyal to his promise to give his other young stars opportunities in the first team.
However, Dowell has not been one of the lucky ones.
With Seamus Coleman unable to match the consistency he has shown during his decade long stay at Goodison, there appears to be a passing of the guard at right-back with 21-year-old Jonjoe Kenny seen to be the number one option.
Another youngster who Silva has continued to feature this season is 20-year-old midfielder, Tom Davies.
He has started Everton’s last four Premier League games and has remarkably been handed the captains armband on several occasions.
Add in Everton’s reluctance to allow winger Ademola Lookman to make a permanent move to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig over the summer, it is curious as to why Silva hasn’t handed Dowell his opportunity to impress.
Instead, the Everton boss elected to spend big and bring in the likes of Richarlison and Bernard.
Although Silva spoke highly of Dowell’s potential when the 21-year-old signed a new three-year-deal back in August, he only managed two Carabao Cup appearances before being sent back out on loan for the remainder of the season.
Despite hardly featuring in the first team set up at Goodison, Dowell has remained a feature of Aidy Boothroyd’s England U21 squad.
The midfielder played a key role in England’s U20’s World Cup winning side back in 2017, the same side as Everton teammate, Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Although it appears that Silva has no intention of recalling Dowell before the end of the season, do Everton fans feel they’re missing the opportunity to bring through another young starlet?
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