Everton’s Academy: An Introduction
Everton’s academy has come under some scrutiny as of late. Only 1 player, Jonjoe Kenny, on Everton’s 25-man roster is an academy graduate. Pumping those numbers up is of critical importance. Everybody knows that academies are the lifeblood of football teams. If you can get an academy graduate into the first team, clubs will save millions in transfer fees while also utilizing a homegrown roster spot. The academy is so valuable because it is hard to successfully graduate players. A survey was conducted of 4,109 former academy graduates aged 21 to 26. Of those, 30% were offered a professional contract, 10% have made more than 20 league appearances fin the top four tiers of England, and only 3% played in the Premier League (Source: https://inews.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league-academy-players-figures-appearances-numbers-1387302). That said, some teams are more successful than others.
It would be wise of Everton to copy another Premier League’s success in this realm. Chelsea has been incredibly successful with their academy, which is a reason why I am very excited for Frank Lampard. Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Reece James, Trevoh Chalobah, and Callum Hudson-Odoi have all successfully made the jump to the first team. However, making first-team appearances isn’t the only way the academy benefits the parent club.
Loan deals add money to the bottom line, after all a penny saved is a penny earned. Loan deals are also critical to player development and are a catalyst for the big money: player sales. The sale of academy players can generate a lot of money. To use Chelsea as an example, this past summer they sold Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, both academy products, for a combined £60 million. This was money they turned around and used to buy Romelu Lukaku. It also helped them avoid getting in FFP hot water, something Everton knows about.
By my count, in the past 3.5 transfer windows, Everton has made five* sales of academy players. Everton is a huge fan of the “undisclosed fee” which forces you to turn to rumors and TransferMarket to calculate the amounts of these sales. Based on that, I estimate the amount of those sales to be around £12 million. That’s roughly 1/3 of what Chelsea made off of Tammy Abraham alone.
*I am not counting Thierry Small given it wasn’t a sale, but Everton will happily take some of Southampton’s money. Pay up, you Saints!
With that in mind, I will be looking at Everton’s academy and how it is working out. The general consensus is one that is lagging. To properly take a deep look, I will be looking into current and former players from Everton’s academy and analyzing their effect on the club. Some will have positive effects, some negative, and some to be determined. Hopefully, you enjoy the ride!