The 10 Everton youngsters Jeffers might recommend for Ipswich

Nottingham Forest's Glenn Murray (left) and Blackburn Rovers' Jarrad Branthwaite battle for the ball

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite (right) might be available for a League One loan after playing a bit-part role for Blackburn this season. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

New Ipswich Town first team coach Francis Jeffers has spent the last five years working at Everton’s academy. STUART WATSON looks at some of the young Toffees that could interest the Blues.   

Lewis Gibson 

Durham-born centre-back came through the youth ranks at Newcastle before moving across to Everton’s academy in 2017. 

After impressing during a nine-game loan spell at League One side Fleetwood at the back end of the 2019/20 season, Gibson moved up a level by joining Championship club Reading for the 2020/21 campaign. 

The 20-year-old found himself behind established defenders though as the Berkshire club fell just short of the play-offs. 

He departs having made seven starts and six substitute appearances, many of them having come out of position at left-back. 

A physically imposing player who is comfortable with the ball at his feet, he and Everton will select his next loan spell carefully as he enters the final year of his contract.  

Fleetwood Town’s Callum Connolly celebrates after scoring his side's first goal of the game during t

Fleetwood are keen to sign Callum Connolly following two loan spells from Everton. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

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Callum Connolly 

A competitive, versatile player who needs no introduction to Ipswich fans following his 35-game spell at Portman Road in 2017/18. 

Following eight separate loan spells at six different clubs, the 23-year-old is now out of contract at Goodison Park. 

Fleetwood boss Simon Grayson has made it clear he would like to permanently sign Connolly - a player he has made captain at the heart of defence – but accepts that ‘won’t be easy because of other options that he might have’. 

Connolly played under Paul Cook during his second loan spell at Wigan, making nine starts and 10 substitute appearances as the Latics finished 18th in the Championship. 

Anthony Gordon 

A direct, skilful, right-footed player who primarily plays on the left and gets fans off their seats. 

The highly-rated attacker made his Everton debut aged 16 in 2017. He went on to start a Merseyside derby in 2020 and subsequently signed a five-year deal. 

Gordon spent the second half of the season just gone on loan at Championship club Preston. There, the 20-year-old made five starts and six sub appearances during a chaotic time when Alex Neil was sacked and replaced by Frank McAvoy. 

Style would be a perfect fit for Paul Cook’s brand of football.   

Derby County's Beni Baningime warming up before the Sky Bet Championship match at Pride Park Stadium

Beni Baningime has just finished a loan spell at Derby County. Photo: PA - Credit: PA

Beni Baningime 

A tough tackling, tenacious midfielder whose style has been compared to that of N’Golo Kante and Claude Makelele by U23s boss David Unsworth. 

The DR Congo born youngster made his Toffees debut in 2017 and had a brief loan spell at Wigan – under Paul Cook – in 2019. 

He subsequently battled back from a series of injury set-backs and spent the second half of the season just gone at Derby, making three appearances for Wayne Rooney’s side. 

The 22-year-old now enters the final year of his deal. 

Jarrad Branthwaite 

Teenage centre-back, 18, stands at 6ft 5in. 

Everton signed him from Carlisle in January 2020 after an impressive breakthrough for his hometown club in League Two. 

Brainthwaite went on to make four Premier League appearances at the end of 2019/20 and sign an extended contract until 2023. 

He spent the second half of the season just gone on loan at Blackburn, making 10 starts under Tony Mowbray as Rovers finished 15th in the Championship. 

Faded out of the picture at Ewood Park from February onwards and suffered an ankle injury in April. 

Mowbray told BBC Lancashire Sport: “He reminds me of a young Gary Pallister, when Pally arrived at Middlesbrough in 1987 - a young guy who everything is happening fast for them. 

“He has all the attributes. He has a wonderful feeling at his feet when passing the ball, he is very quick, he's 6ft 5in. 

“He just has to put all the bits together and we can all sit and watch his career develop.” 

A League One loan spell might be the next step in his journey. 

Dennis Aderiran 

Everton recruited the box-to-box midfielder from Fulham in 2017. The 22-year-old is now a free agent following an impressive season on loan at relegated Championship side Wycombe. 

Tom Hancock, of Wycombe Sound, told SNB Nation: “He was excellent, really - probably one of the best loanees we’ve had under Gareth Ainsworth - and there have been quite a few, including a certain Eberechi Eze. 

“As I say, he gave us something we’d lacked for a couple of seasons, especially with his ability to carry the ball out from the back and break lines to rapidly turn defence into attack.” 

Ellis Simms 

A tall, pacey, strong striker who comes alive in the box. 

Everton recruited him as a 16-year-old from Manchester City in 2017. He went on to score 46 goals in all competitions for the club’s U18s in 2018/19. 

The 20-year-old spent the season just gone on loan at Blackpool, scoring eight goals in 17 starts and five sub appearances as the Tangerines finished third in League One. 

Everton U23s boss David Unsworth said: “He does the hardest thing in the game, which is putting the ball in the back of the net." 

Now enters the final year of his deal. Remains to be seen if Blackpool get promoted or will try and get him back. 


Rhys Hughes 

Welsh youth international scored three goals and provided six assists for Everton’s U18s in 2019/20. Not bad considering he only played 15 times. He was also given the captain’s armband several times too. 

He subsequently stepped up to the U23s and provided two goals and seven assists for Unsworth’s men in the season just gone. 

Toffeweb.com writes: “Initially playing as a Number 10, he was re-branded as an all-action number six by (youth coach) Paul Tait.  

“Hughes is neat on the ball, links defence with attack, can play on both feet and does not shy away from a tackle. He is also a threat from set-pieces.” 

A Football League loan spell looks to be the next step for the 19-year-old, who is contracted until 2022. 

Nathan Broadhead 

Striker, 23, was capped 17 times by Wales U21s. 

Speaking in March 2019, Unsworth told the Liverpool Echo: “He’s terrific, it’s up to him what the next step is… maybe a loan, maybe training with the first-team – but that’s up to the manager – but he has certainly given himself a platform. 

“He’s a top young player and one of the best players I’ve worked with at this level. I hope he goes on and has a wonderful career because his ability certainly deserves that.” 

Broadhead subsequently scored three goals during a 22-game loan spell at League One side Burton in 2019/20. 

He is now out of contract after netting 11 goals for Everton’s U23s in the season just gone. 

Josh Bowler

A left-footed winger who tends to play on the right.

Played for Fulham and QPR as a youngster, either side of a spell at Aldershot, before being recruited by Everton in 2017.

He spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Hull City, scoring once in 14 starts and 17 sub appearances as the Tigers finished bottom of the Championship.

Was all set to go out on loan again last summer until a hip injury ruled him out until Christmas.

Now a free agent after scoring three goals and providing two assists in just six games for Everton's U23s in 2020/21.

Upon signing Bowler in 2019, Hull boss Grant McCann told the Hull Daily Mail: "He’s going to be great for us. He can play off the left, off the right and as a nine. He plays on the edge, gets at people and he’s not afraid to take a shot.

"He's a lovely kid who is ready for the Championship."


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