View: Everton should allow Kenny to leave amid reported Burnley interest
Jonjoe Kenny was born in Kirkdale and rose through the academy ranks at Everton – but he has become the forgotten man and should be allowed to leave to reach his dwindling potential.
The 23-year-old made his debut for the Toffees in 2016 before becoming a first-team regular in Seamus Coleman’s absence in the 2017/18 season under Ronald Koeman, racking up 19 Premier League appearances following the Republic of Ireland international’s injury.
He reverted to back-up the following season but did still play 10 times in the Premier League and was expected to kick on and seriously challenge Coleman but he was loaned to German side Schalke for the 2019/20 season where he impressed in the Bundesliga.
This season was viewed as a make-or-break and it appears to be the latter for Kenny as he has struggled to assert himself as a valuable member of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.
The club must make a firm decision to end his spell at the club as the chances of him ever becoming what they hoped are slim.
He has made just one start in the Premier League, in the 2-1 defeat to Newcastle United on November 1, alongside three very brief substitute appearances.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
The Daily Mail have reported that Burnley manager Sean Dyche has enquired about the availability of Kenny after being unable to convince Everton to part ways last year.
Per Transfermarkt Kenny’s Everton contract runs out in June 2022 and unless fresh terms are offered with an extension to this his value is set to plummet and in a year’s time, he will be able to speak to foreign clubs with a view to a free transfer in the summer of 2022.
Seamus Coleman had been the undisputed starter on the right-hand side of defence this season and was in impressive form before suffering an injury that caused him to miss five games.
In his absence, Ancelotti turned to centre back Mason Holgate instead of Kenny, a clear sign that the boss does not think Kenny is up to the required standard for his European challengers.
Holgate has been terrific and the return of Lucas Digne to the team looks like even worse news for Kenny.
Without Digne in the side, Everton have lacked guile and crossing ability down the flanks, with Holgate and Ben Godfrey more natural defenders than full-backs.
As such, one argument to retain Kenny could have been to play him against low block teams to utilise his crossing which is one of his most impressive attributes.
With Digne back on the left, however, the Toffees have their main man in defence back and there is less of an onus on the right-hand side to affect games going forward now.
Godfrey can also cover at right-back now, while Everton have been linked with a move for Middlesbrough right back Djed Spence [TeamTalk] who, at 20 years old, is younger than Kenny and a man in form.
This all leaves Kenny at a clear crossroads in his career.
A move to Burnley would be a great chance to play Premier League football, though there would be some doubt as to his suitability in a Dyche team.
Everton must finally cut the cord on Kenny’s association with the club and allow him to flourish, while they would be mindful to pocket as much cash as possible and reinvest it into a younger prospect like Spence.
In other Everton news, our view on how this Championship transfer target could replace the ageing captain Coleman.