Not many top youngsters slip through the net at Finch Farm. Everton have produced some top talents over the years and pride themselves on being the School of Science.
However, it seems that one 16-year-old is threatening to leave Everton fans scratching our head in years to come.
The player in question is Mohamed-Ali Cho and the teenager is making a name for himself in France.
The exciting winger does not turn 17 until January. However, he has already made six appearances in Ligue 1 this season for Angers.
This comes after he broke the record as the youngest ever player to sign a professional deal in French football back in May, as reported by Ouest-France.
The same report compares Cho to the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Nicolas Pepe, highlighting just how exciting a wideman he really is.
The same piece also carries quotes from the player’s mother, Samia. She suggests that the project proposed by Everton for her son was ‘not what we were looking for’.
Who is Mohamed-Ali Cho?
Cho was born in France but raised in London where he joined the West Ham academy. After returning to France and playing with PSG’s youth set-up his family returned to England when Cho was 11. At this point, he joined Everton’s academy and went on to win caps as an England youth international.
But he left the club last summer to look for a new opportunity. That came with a move to Angers a year ago which has now led to him becoming one of Ligue 1’s youngest hot prospects.
Everton appear to have had little chance of keeping Cho. It seems a desire for first-team football might have seen him make the move away. Everton tend to keep their talents in the under-23s for as long as possible under the current model. For example, Anthony Gordon, another flying winger, still can’t get a regular run in Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team.
Had Cho remained at Finch Farm he would still likely be in the under-18 set-up, pushing for under-23 minutes under David Unsworth.
Instead, the youngster has gone and made a name for himself elsewhere, and kudos to him for what seems a successful switch. But for us fans, if Cho goes on to become as valuable and talented as Dembele and Pepe, we will undoubtedly be gutted that the right project was not presented to this precocious talent.
Nigel Martyn speaking to Everton News: Archive