Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has shown a lot of faith in Everton’s 19-year-old youth prospect Anthony Gordon. He appears to be paying back the trust.
Ancelotti has used the restart to hand Gordon his first three Premier League starts, featuring him over first-team regulars Bernard and Gylfi Sigurðsson.
A surprise to many, Gordon got his first start in the Merseyside derby, a game with the potential consequence of Liverpool winning the league at Goodison Park.
The game did not favour Gordon, with Everton having only 33% possession. Yet Gordon’s presence shows how highly he is thought of by his manager and his performances since have only improved.
Since the restart, Gordon has looked to be Everton’s most direct player. Where Everton’s injury-plagued midfield is failing to progress the ball up the pitch, Gordon appears happy to take on players and break through the lines.
Gordon’s creativity was rewarded on only his second start as he set up a 10th-minute goal for Richarlison.
Everton’s most recent performances, a loss at Tottenham and a draw with Southampton, have shown a lack of character. For many Gordon has been a saving grace.
Ancelotti, whilst talking to Everton’s official website, identified why he had so much faith in the young player, saying: “He is a player with personality. You can find a lot of players with quality, but you have to show strong personality.
“In football, you need players with personality and character. Players who are not afraid to make decisions. Anthony is one of these.”
Anthony seems to be the only personality in a currently characterless team.
Everton’s Italian manager is keen for an Everton overhaul, stating his intentions to improve the squad. It looks certain, however, that Gordon will be one of the players that survive the chop.