Date: 6th May 2020 at 7:55pm
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According to Liverpool Echo, Ryan Astley will undergo ‘talks of a new contract with Marcel Brands’ this summer as recognition for his progress in the reserves. The 18-year-old was promoted from the U18s in 2019 and has gone on to make 31 appearances in all competitions for the U23s.

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Under Brands, Everton have shifted their focus to lower the average age of the first-team squad and replace deadwood with young equivalents. Since the Dutchman joined as Director of Football, only one of the Blues’ last 11 permanent outfield acquisitions has been over the age of 25 – Fabian Delph.

And as per Transfermarkt, Anthony Gordon (aged 19), Lewis Gibson (19), Joao Virginia (20), Moise Kean (20), Beni Baningime (21), Tom Davies (21) and Dennis Adeniran (21) have been in a total of 77 matchday squads this season, making 52 appearances and amassing 2476 minutes of football.

Everton have also been linked with likes of Mohamed Sankoh, Joe Gelhardt, Anthony Weston, Joe Hugill and Gabriel Veron, so it’s clear they’re thinking of the future – Astley should be confident of reaching his potential.

The 18-year-old has Michael Keane, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate standing in his way of first-team football, but Liverpool Echo believe he could be in and around the senior squad soon.

Read Crippy Cooke’s previous article