Everton Under 23s manager David Unsworth expects the Goodison Park exit door to remain closed to his young Blues stars without a late window shift, as told to the Liverpool Echo.
Unsworth’s Toffees prospects are the reigning Premier League 2 champions having lifted the junior crown for the second time in three seasons earlier in the year, but began their latest title defence with a goalless draw against Leicester last week.
The former first-team caretaker boss now doubts players like Morgan Feeney, Antony Evans and Fraser Hornby will be able to secure a loan move to a League One or League Two club before their transfer windows close on September 2, unless they are able to shake off the cobwebs of the summer break quickly.
“If any managers are looking at that performance [against the Foxes], there’s not many players who will get a loan,” he said. “They need to step up.
“Okay, it’s the first game of the season, but it’s a bit of a reality check.”
Feeney, Evans and Hornby have all been given permission to secure loan moves for the 2019/20 season in a bid to play regular first-team football, but neither were able to land deals with Championship sides before the window slammed shut on August 8.
The trio’s availability meant Unsworth called on their services against Leicester, with 6 ft 2 Feeney again awarded the U23s captain’s armband, and the junior Blues boss will continue to call on them all the while they remain on Merseyside.
“I have no idea what it will be by the end of the Football League window, but whatever group we have most players will come into our thinking,” he added.
“They’ve taken a little bit of time to get up to speed, but that’s a work in progress because they’re young players. We’ll see how that develops over the course of the season.”