Temporary Everton manager David Unsworth was delighted with how his young debutants fared in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Norwich City.
Under-21s stars Kieran Dowell and Tom Davies were handed their full first team debuts by Unsworth at Goodison Park, while Jonjoe Kenny – fresh from a loan stint at Oxford United – made his maiden first team appearance when he replaced the injured Matthew Pennington.
The trio, who have featured heavily under Unsworth for Everton’s second string, all turned in sterling performances as the Blues signed off for the season on a positive note.
And ex-Toffees full back Unsworth showered his protégés with praise after the final whistle.
“They were all outstanding,” Unsworth told Everton’s official website.
“In particular Tom Davies who was out of this world. His individual performance within a team performance – and I’m not massive on individual performances, it’s all about the team for me – but he was outstanding this afternoon.
“For me, it was everything we want in an Everton centre midfielder; all-action, good on the ball, spots danger. It was a great midfield performance.
“We know we’ve got good young players at this football club in the first team and the group underneath, the Under-21s. There’s lads ready to play and they’ve shown that today. I thought Jonjoe was outstanding, I really did. He’s a bit of a throwback to full-backs – he stops crosses and wants to make tackles and wants to play forward.
“Matty Pennington started the game really well and unfortunately had to come off with a hamstring problem. Kieran Dowell showed flashes of genius and the kind of quality he’s been showing all season with us in the Under-21s.
“They’ve been ready and I know that no matter who we play from the Under-21s, they won’t let us down. We’ve been doing it all season.
“They’ve just had to be patient for their opportunity – they got it today and I thought they were fantastic.”