Marco Silva has been left with a decision to make as U23 star Bassala Sambou has hinted, in an interview with the Liverpool Echo, that he may have to leave Everton in the summer in search of first-team football.
The 5 ft 9 striker has given no indication that he intends to quit the Toffees for good when the transfer window opens, but rather he may have to leave Merseyside on loan having proved all he can at youth level.
Sambou’s contract with the Toffees is up in the summer, however, and the German refused to be drawn into any discussions over a new deal, simply noting: “My agent does that [discussion] and I play the football.”
The Echo understands, though, that the club are keen to tie the forward down to a new contract, and that Silva has been attracted to the youth star’s efforts since moving to Merseyside himself. But without the taste of senior football he craves, the Hannover-native feels he will not be able to define what sort of player he is, and uncover the final areas of his game that need improving.
“100 per cent this has definitely been my best year,” Sambou claimed. “I feel like I’ve worked hard and I’ve done everything. I feel like I’ve completed it now!
“There’s not much more you can do when you’ve won [the Premier League 2] twice and become one of the top goalscorers in the league.
“There’s obviously more I can prove, but there’s not much more I can prove in the Under23s. I want to step up again and see the challenge out there for myself. I will never know what type of player and what type of person I am until I go out there and do these things.
“I need to play first-team [football] to see where I am in the game. I believe I can do amazing [things] when I go out there, but it’s also being given the chance and the opportunity.”
The 21-year-old’s efforts were enough to make him the division’s joint-sixth top ‘scorer, with just three fewer goals than Norwich City’s Adam Idah and Newcastle’s Elias Sorensen.