Everton suffered their 2nd and consecutive defeat of the Premier League at the weekend at the hands of Tottenham.
The 3-0 loss laid bare the Toffees’ weaknesses, with concerns raised over the club’s struggles at right-back and centre-forward.
Former Southampton fullback, Cuco Martina had a torrid time against Spurs left-flank players, while the defender’s fellow summer arrival Sandro Ramirez, couldn’t find the chance to clearly trouble the opposition’s goal.
Despite an outlay of around £140million during the summer transfer window, Everton don’t appear capable of challenging for a top 6 finish, and former Burnley man and boyhood Evertonian Joey Barton reckons the solutions to strengthening their weak positions is right within the club.
The talkSPORT pundit claimed: “Everton have got a great Academy. We’ve seen Dominic Calvert-Lewin playing games earlier in the season and doing really well against Manchester City. I’d like to see him given a run in the centre-forward position.
“And I see Cuco Martina taken on a free from Southampton, I mean they’ve got a young boy Jonjoe Kenny, another kid Callum Connolly – both right-backs – who’ve done really well for the England youth sides.
“Instead of putting a second rate foreigner in which he is, judging off Saturday, you would have to say that. Southampton gave him a free transfer.
“Give your kids a chance. Everton have got a great academy. Give your kids a chance because they’ve proved and they will prove that they’re more than competent.”
Academy products Jonjoe Kenny and Callum Connolly both helped the England’s Under-20s to the youth World Cup months ago, alongside Ademola Lookman, who is yet to taste EPL action this season.
The former Charlton Athletic teenage sensation and the highly-rated Kenny have been with the Everton’s Under-23s this season, and were in action in the 4-1 victory over their Tottenham’s colleagues in the Premier League 2. Connolly, on the other hand is currently on a season-long loan at Ipswich Town.
With the team struggling against the top sides, it remains to be seen if manager Ronald Koeman would be pushed to bring in reinforcements from the youth teams ahead of the January transfer window if results don’t change.