By Adefunmiloye Alani

24th Nov, 2021 | 7:40am

Reece Welch has caught the eye of Everton director Marcel Brands

Everton under-23 centre-back Reece Welch has caught the eye of director of football Marcel Brands, according to The Athletic.

The Dutchman has told David Unsworth’s side to focus more on playing out from the back, with the technical quality of the 18-year-old being utilised, alongside that of 19-year-old holding midfielder Lewis Warrington.

Welch, an England Under-20 international, has been a mainstay for the Toffees under-23s this term, featuring in 12 Premier League 2 games and three EFL Trophy games.

One for the immediate future?

Brands and first-team coach Duncan Ferguson both watched the Under-23s run out 2-1 winners over their Brighton and Hove Albion counterparts on Monday night at Goodison Park, and Welch would have impressed the Everton chiefs.

Rafa Benitez could do with some additions at the back given his mounting injury problems right now, and Big Dunc might have put in a word on behalf of the teenage sensation.

Brands knows his football, and he definitely sees something a lot of people would not in Welch.

The Huddersfield-born defender has been with Everton since the age of seven and has been dubbed “classy” on the club’s official website.

He signed a first professional contract with the club in September 2020, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal, and should he continue impressing, he could soon start knocking on the first-team door.

Welch’s style of play would definitely have blown Brands away as it mirrors the Dutch style of defenders being comfortable on the ball and playing out from the back, and the Toffees have a real gem on their hands from the look of things.

In other Everton news, the Toffees are plotting January loan-to-buy bid for centre-mid hailed by Jack Grealish last month.

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