After a result that saw Everton take another big step to potentially achieving European football for next season, Carlo Ancelotti was quick to praise one player for his efforts at Goodison Park.
It wasn’t either of Richarlison or Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose goals helped the Toffees to a 2-1 win over Leicester, but instead, 19-year-old academy starlet Anthony Gordon.
The teenager has been one of the major positives since the Premier League’s restart last month, featuring in all three of the Merseyside outfit’s opening games, including starting against Liverpool and Leicester on Wednesday night.
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And speaking after his latest display against the Foxes, Ancelotti said: “It is important for him to show quality and above all to be confident to play. Usually when a young player comes in they are a bit worried. But Anthony has personality and did well.”
The winger was in fine fettle against Brendan Rodgers’ side, and whether it was just his youthfulness or willingness to impress, but he was equally as impressive going back towards his own goal too.
As per Sofascore, he managed two interceptions and four tackles, the first being a team-high stat, and the second, ranking him only behind Seamus Coleman amongst all Everton players on the night.
Of course, the major highlight of his evening’s work was the fine assist for Richarlison’s opener, collecting the ball off Lucas Digne’s precise header, before driving to the by-line and cutting it back across goal for his teammate to sweep home with aplomb.
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Aside from his set-up for Richarlison, Gordon also provided two key passes and completed two out of his three attempted dribbles. Despite having competition for places out wide, Ancelotti has placed his faith in the Everton teenager, and that is a real testament to the work done by David Unsworth, who is in charge of the U23s.
Speaking back in 2019, Unsworth was full of praise for the potential that Gordon has, saying: “What we’ve got at the moment is a young, exciting player with bags and bags of potential who we feel has a great chance of being a Premier League footballer. He’s got to be managed right.”
And judging by how Gordon has developed over the past few months, and his starring performance against Leicester, it’s clear to see Ancelotti is now more than willing to unleash the talented prodigy.