Aaron Lennon has hailed the passion and professionalism of teammate Jonjoe Kenny, while vowing to build on his budding on-field relationship with the young full-back.
The pair have started five of the past six Premier League games on the right flank, with both catching the eye in the Blues’ victories over West Ham United and Huddersfield Town last week.
Lennon says he is relishing the opportunity to be playing in front of the Kirkdale-born defender and believes their combination play will continue to go from strength to strength as Everton look to continue their climb up the Premier League under new manager Sam Allardyce.
“Jonjoe has been unbelievable,” Lennon told evertonfc.com
. “From the moment I came here, I’ve always liked Jonjoe. I’ve always thought he’s a great professional and a great player. Since he stepped in, he’s been unbelievable.
“Obviously, things weren’t going so great for us and for a young lad to come in and put in the performances that he did, it’s just fantastic. He’s getting better with every game, too. He’s been a joy to play with in recent weeks and we’re building up a little partnership now which has been great.
“Of course, Jonjoe is a great defender. I’m always trying to help him as well, as I do. But he wants to do his job and he’s always telling me, ‘Azza, push up!’
“He takes so much responsibility and he’s been great.
“He’s a passionate lad and he loves Everton. Every time he goes out on to the pitch, whether that be on the training ground or on a matchday, he is at it 100 per cent. He’s got a great attitude and you know he is someone who will never let you down.”
After making his first-team debut for the Toffees on the final day of the 2015/16 season, Kenny spent last campaign captaining the Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title, while also sporadically training with the first team.
The England Under-20 World Cup winner has already earned the praise of Allardyce, being called an "outstanding young talent" by the Blues boss
Leighton Baines has also spoken of his admiration of Kenny’s ability in the past - and Lennon has revealed there was always a feeling amongst the senior players that the now 20-year-old was one to watch.
“The older lads always have a look at the younger lads coming through and it’s always great to see. Jonjoe was definitely one who was talked about in the dressing room amongst the lads in terms of someone who could make the step up,” added Lennon.
“We’ve been proven right, to be fair. He’s been great and I think he’ll go a long way.”