Sam Allardyce believes Jonjoe Kenny, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Mason Holgate “will play big roles at Everton for a long time to come” as the young trio committed to new long-term deals at the Club.
Defenders Kenny and Holgate put pen to paper today on contracts that run to the end of June 2022, with centre forward Calvert-Lewin signing to the end of June 2023.
For Kenny, who joined the Blues’ Academy as a nine-year-old and made his first Premier League start in October 2017 against Arsenal, this joint statement of intent is a signal that “we have the desire to compete at the highest level” while Holgate maintains “it is a good time to be young at Everton - we can achieve special things here”.
Calvert-Lewin is excited about continuing his development under the influence of players such as Wayne Rooney, and Everton boss Allardyce is adamant that young blood in the Club and keeping hold of young players is the “future of Everton”.
“We’re delighted that these young men have committed long-term to the Club and there’s no doubt in my mind that they will play big roles at Everton for a long time to come,” said the Everton manager.
“The depth of young talent in our squad is very encouraging, a clear sign that we do things right as a Club in our development of young players and Mason, Jonjoe and Dominic epitomise what we are trying to accomplish with young players here at Everton.
“I’ve made the point before that Jonjoe’s decision-making for such a young man is very impressive and part of the reason he makes the game look simple.
“He is also an excellent defender, very grounded as an individual and he has an innate desire to succeed. He’s hungry and his choice of ball possession is first-class for a young man. He is an outstanding young man at full-back.
“For me, Mason Holgate’s potential is becoming a reality. He has set his standards in these past number of games he’s been involved in and it’s a matter of him maintaining those standards, continuing to work hard on his game and then he can become a really top player in the Premier League.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin, too, is a really exciting talent, he’s improving all the time and he has the athleticism and attributes to become a top player in his position.
“Working so closely with a player like Wayne Rooney can’t fail to help him in the role he plays in the team and, collectively, these three players will all have big parts to play here in the years ahead.”
Kenny captained Everton Under-23s to last season’s Premier League 2 title and the 20-year-old from Kirkdale has played every minute of the team’s past nine Premier League games.
“Everton is a top club and I’m convinced we can go and do great things as a team,” he told evertontv.
“If we all stick together we can compete at the highest level and we have the desire to do this. To extend my career here, I’m made up. I want to stay at Everton for as long as I can but I know I’ve got to keep on playing week in, week out, playing well and impressing. Hopefully, I can keep on doing that.
“Results have been good recently and to be involved in that, there’s simply no better feeling.”
Calvert-Lewin joined the Club from Sheffield United on transfer deadline day in August 2016 and made his Premier League debut in the 2-1 victory over Arsenal in December 2016.
The 20-year-old scored his first top-flight goal in March 2017 in the 4-0 victory over Hull and, after winning the Under-20 World Cup with England in the summer when he scored the winning goal against Venezuela, he has made an impressive start to the 2017/18 campaign, contributing six goals in 28 appearances this season.
“It’s an exciting time to be here and, for me, learning from players such as Wayne Rooney couldn’t be better for my ongoing development,” said Calvert-Lewin.
“With a few other young lads also coming through at the moment, it’s good because we’re all pushing one another.
“I feel like I’ve improved a lot in a short space of time and I’m still looking to keep improving and getting better. That’s what I’m working on day in, day out. It’s nice to be rewarded and to be enjoying my football and it is a proud day for me and my family.”
Holgate signed for Everton from Barnsley in August 2015 and was handed his Premier League debut against Tottenham Hotspur on the opening day of the 2016/17 campaign.
He has impressed in a variety of positions in the Toffees’ back four, before maintaining his position in the middle of defence in recent games.
“It is massive boost to sign this new deal,” said the 21-year-old defender. “It is a confidence booster that the Club thinks highly of me.
“I have been given chances here at Everton and there has been faith shown in me. The more experience I get, the more I will be able to grow and improve.
“It is a good time to be young at Everton. You get a lot of chances. Every now and then, clubs get a spurt of players from the same generation coming through and hopefully that is what is happening here.
“There are a lot of players around my age – Dom, ’Mola [Ademola Lookman], Davo [Tom Davies], and Jonjoe - and hopefully we can all be here for a long time.
“I think we can achieve special things here.”