Ancelotti's Academy Pledge

Carlo Ancelotti says it is vital for Everton’s senior set-up to maintain a “strong relationship” with the Club’s prolific Academy - and the Italian is planning meetings with staff from the Blues' youth system.

On the day of Ancelotti’s unveiling as manager last month, Director of Football Marcel Brands revealed the topic of Everton’s young players featured prominently in initial discussions with the former AC Milan and Real Madrid boss.

The Blues handed more playing time to English footballers than any other Premier League club in the past decade.

A number of those performers were reared at Goodison Park, with Tom Davies and Anthony Gordon the latest to carry the baton for their Club’s Academy.

Davies has started two of Ancelotti’s three Premier League games in charge and finished the New Year’s Day fixture at Manchester City wearing the captain’s armband.

Attacker Gordon, meanwhile, was promoted to the bench against City following Bernard’s late withdrawal a fortnight after making his senior Goodison debut against Leicester City.

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00:25 Sat 04 Jan 2020

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“The first team has to have a strong relationship with the Academy, we have to work together to improve the players from the youth system,” Ancelotti told evertontv.

“There will be times I can take players from the Academy to train with the first team.

“I will speak with the Academy manager to find the right way to improve the young players and get them ready for our first team.

“I have regular contact with Marcel, we have discussions every day to find the right solution to do our best for this club.

“Everyone is here to work for this club, to try to bring this club to the highest level possible.”

Everton’s defeat at City drew a line under the Blues’ five-match unbeaten Premier League run.

The 11 points claimed in that period enabled Everton to make a notable jump up the table and move within striking distance of Manchester United in fifth.

Ancelotti vowed after Sunday’s hard-to-stomach Merseyside derby FA Cup defeat to channel his focus into continuing Everton’s League advance.

Those efforts start with a clear week ahead of Saturday’s visit from Brighton & Hove Albion.

And although Ancelotti, who won his opening Premier League games, against Burnley and Newcastle United, is urging patience over Gordon, the 18-year-old continues to train with Everton’s squad.

“I would like to know about all the young players – it would be good to have players come from the Academy into the first team,” added Ancelotti.

“Anthony Gordon is working with us.

“I see a lot of quality in him. He has to improve and we have to be patient with him.

“But he has the quality to be at the top level.

“He has to gain more knowledge and experience but his quality is very good.”