Everton left-back Thierry Small could be on his way to Leeds United in the summer transfer window with the youngster reportedly frustrated at Goodison Park.
The Express has reported that Leeds could offer Small, 16, a pathway into their first team if he joins them amid a major lack of involvement at Everton after he made his senior debut in the FA Cup in January.
Journalist Ryan Taylor added on Twitter that the frustrated youngster could cost around £1million for whoever signs him in the summer – and that could be a huge bargain for Leeds.
Small respects the quality of Lucas Digne but has found lack of involvement (including training/matchday squads) since Sheffield Wednesday debut frustrating. #BHAFC & #BrentfordFC among those willing to fast-track him into first-team. Would cost around £1m. #EFC
— Ryan Taylor (@RyanTaylorSport) April 1, 2021
According to The Express, Small has “frightening potential” and has been compared to Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies for the way he bombs forward in the left-back position.
He’s also said to be “considered the best left-back in the country for his age and amongst the best in Europe”.
Small will turn 17 in August but he’s already been a regular for Everton’s Under-23s. This season, the left-back has made nine Premier League 2 appearances and scored three goals in the process. He’s also scored three goals in 10 Under-18 Premier League outings for the Toffees.
When Small made his debut against Sheffield Wednesday in January, he became the youngest ever player to represent Everton in a senior competitive fixture.
He was only on the pitch for nine minutes and according to stats by Wyscout, he completed all three of his attempted passes, won three of four duels and made one recovery as the Merseyside club won 3-0
Wyscout only has data for four of Small’s Premier League 2 appearances this season when he played against West Ham, Derby, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Below is a heatmap of his performances in those games and you can clearly see how attack-minded a left-back he is.
In those four matches, Small averaged 3.22 touches inside the penalty box per 90 minutes of game-time – an extraordinarily high number for a left-back.
Small also completed 66.7 per cent of dribbles, hit the target with 37.5 per cent of shots while averaging 1.98 attempts per 90 minutes and also averaging 3.72 progressive runs.
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa likes to have attack-minded players in the full-back positions which is why natural wingers like Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski have played at left-back in recent seasons.
While we doubt Small would be a first-team player at Elland Road if he joined this summer, the fact that he’s available for £1million and has such a high ceiling for development means Victor Orta could be hitting the jackpot if he snaps up the impressive youngster.
In other Leeds United news, Declan Rice has sent a two-word message to Kalvin Phillips after England’s win over Poland.