In-form Everton Under-23s forward Anthony Gordon says he is relishing the chance to test himself against senior opposition when the young Blues take on Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night (7.45pm).
Gordon will head into the game on the back of netting a clinical double as David Unsworth's side battled out a 2-2 draw with Arsenal in a Premier League 2 clash at Emirates Stadium on Friday.
Boss Unsworth praised the talented 18-year-old’s “explosiveness and star quality” following that match.
Reigning Premier League 2 champions Everton had twice fallen behind against the Gunners but showcased their resilience to hit back, with two nerveless finishes from England Under-18 international Gordon earning the Toffees a share of the points.
And the Academy graduate is eager to sustain his momentum against League Two outfit Mansfield at Field Mill.
“Arsenal are a very good team, so I think we should be proud of ourselves for getting back into it on Friday,” Gordon told evertonfc.com.
“It was a really tough game. The Emirates has a big pitch, so we had to cover a lot of ground, but it has an amazing surface.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the win, but we showed good character to get a point.
“We have Mansfield next and it will be good to see how we match up against more experienced players – players who have played a lot of senior football in their careers.
“It is the physical aspect [that is one of the most important]. It will be a very good test for all of us.”
Gordon has enjoyed a scintillating start to the 2019/20 campaign.
He represented Everton Under-18s at the prestigious Otten Cup in Holland over the weekend of 17 August and was named Forward of the Tournament in a competition which featured European heavyweights such as Barcelona, Inter Milan and hosts PSV Eindhoven.
Gordon scored two goals in four matches as the Toffees reached the semi-finals of the cup, before being beaten 2-0 by PSV.
“It was great to play in that event,” Gordon added.
“You’re playing against some of the best young talents in the world, and it was good to compare myself to them.
“I got an injury in the semi-final and had to come off, which I was gutted about.
“But, overall, I really enjoyed the experience and I think I had a good tournament.”