'Impressive Kenny Embodies Everton Traditions'

"Typical Scouse full-back” Jonjoe Kenny's hunger, tenacity and fearlessness embodies the traditions of Everton.

That's the view of Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, who has been impressed with how the England Under-21 international has adapted to top-level football after enjoying a breakthrough campaign last season.

Kenny made 25 first-team appearances in 2017-18, deputising impressively for Seamus Coleman while the Republic of Ireland captain was sidelined with a broken leg.

And the Academy graduate showed his class again against West Ham United on Sunday in what was his first senior game for the Blues this season. With Coleman out of the Goodison Park clash having picked up an injury on international duty, Kenny seamlessly stepped into the Everton back four.

His pinpoint cross set up Gylfi Sigurdsson’s bullet header on the stroke of half-time, while his eagerness to take possession and get Everton on the attack was evident thoughout – Kenny's 90 touches were the most of any player on the pitch.

Only fellow full-back Lucas Digne made more tackles for the Blues against West Ham, while no player on the pitch won more aerial battles than Kenny during the game.

Carragher, who won 38 caps for England during a 17-year professional career, believes the Kirkdale-born full-back boasts the attitude, defensive astuteness and attacking ambition to be an important player for the Toffees for years to come.

“I really like him,” he told evertonfc.com. “He is your typical Scouse full-back, very aggressive, takes no prisoners but he also has quality going forward.

“You can see what it means to him playing for Everton. The traditions of Everton are that they always have those types of players.

“Tony Hibbert played right back for a long time and did a great job for Everton. It is great you have those types of players. I think he will be vital in that derby game.

“He has made a great start to his Everton career. He has a long way to go but it bodes well."


Carragher has also been impressed by the progress of Kenny’s Everton and England Under-21 counterparts Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Since coming on as a 40th-minute substitute in Everton’s opening Premier League game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, centre-back Holgate has played every minute for Toffees this season.

Calvert-Lewin, meanwhile, has been in fine goalscoring form. He has hit three goals in four games as he strives to build on a 2017-18 campaign that saw him make the most first-team appearances of any outfield player in the Everton squad.

“It is not easy for Mason because he is not the biggest,” Carragher explained. “I wasn’t the biggest compared to other centre-backs in the Premier League, and he isn’t either.

“But he has a great spring and that is what you need.

“I like Calvert-Lewin a lot, too. He has a great presence. I saw him in town and had a picture with him, I was looking up to him, the size of him!

“He was in that team that won the Under-20 World Cup, along with Kenny, and he has done very well, a great signing for Everton. I think he has a great future.”

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