Nathan Broadhead says he learned invaluable lessons from his loan spell at Sunderland after helping the Black Cats achieve promotion to the Championship.
The Everton Academy graduate, who has made two senior appearances for the Blues, spent the 2021/22 campaign on loan at The Stadium of Light, notching 13 goals in 27 games in all competitions.
Despite conceding it felt like a "stop-start" season after suffering with COVID in pre-season and being sidelined for three-and-a-half months with a hamstring injury, Broadhead's strikes proved vital in firing Sunderland to England's second tier via the play-offs, as he finished the club's second-highest goalscorer for the campaign.
"It's an unbelievable feeling [to achieve promotion]," the 24-year-old told evertonfc.com at Wembley. "Since I came here, I believed in this team, with the quality we have, and I believed we could get promotion.
"It's been a stop-start season for me. I got COVID in pre-season, came back and had two weeks training, then I went up to Sunderland.
"In the first game I got injured and I've had a couple of others [injury issues] this season, but I never give up.
"Every game I play, I'll give 100 per cent.
"It's been a tough journey but I'm glad we could round it off with promotion at Wembley.
"This season has been my first playing consistently, playing in front of 30-40,000 fans every week and I've enjoyed every moment of it – and the promotion makes it even better.
"Now I'm just looking forward to getting back to 100-per-cent fitness and having a full pre-season. We'll see what happens next."
It was Broadhead's second experience of League One football, having spent 2019/20 with Burton Albion, where he contributed three goals and three assists in 22 outings.
But, he insists, the added pressure of playing in front of packed-out crowds for Sunderland has brought his game to a new level.
"Performing under pressure," answered Broadhead, when asked about the biggest takeaway from his latest spell away from Goodison Park. "Even in hostile environments, you have to keep your level.
"I've been learning every day from experienced players and that's part of it.
"Of course, I want to be in that environment and playing senior football.
"This season, getting promotion and winning a trophy – that's why I came to Sunderland.
"In my first interview I said that and we've achieved it, so I'm really pleased."