Josh Bowler was something of a prize signing for Everton back in 2017. The Toffees snapped up the youngster from QPR in a deal which, according to Sky Sports, could eventually be worth up to £4.25 million.
The physically imposing wide-man had the ability to stream past defenders and a good goalscoring record and QPR were certainly disappointed to see him go.
But we have yet to see Bowler play in the Everton first-team and a serious question mark must be present over his future come January.
Bowler earned himself a new one-year extension to his contract at Everton back in 2019 after form described as ‘terrific’ by under-23 boss David Unsworth. Unsworth also suggested Bowler was capable of ‘magic’ in the final third and a loan spell at Hull City last term was supposed to see him progress.
Instead, Bowler struggled as Hull capitulated and were relegated from the Championship.
It led to reports from the Liverpool ECHO that Bowler was set for an Everton exit, with numerous clubs said to be monitoring his services. With good reason as well. Bowler started the season in fine form for the under-23s, being nominated for the PL2 Player of the Month in September after scoring twice in three games.
Unfortunately, Bowler tore his hip flexor in training, putting an end to any hopes of a loan spell away from the club.
So what next for Bowler?
The 21-year-old is expected to return from his injury just after Christmas so there is still a chance he finds himself a loan club in the new year.
However, it is surely better for all parties if Bowler sticks around with Everton’s under-23s for the rest of the season.
Given his injury, Bowler deserves a chance to get fit and prove himself for Unsworth’s side in the second part of what looks like being a tough PL2 campaign.
If Bowler can find the form he exhibited at the start of the season, then a new contract and a potential loan move next season could be on the cards. If not, Everton can let his contract expire in the summer and wish him all the best.
Here’s hoping it is the former. We could be in for a treat if Bowler can stay fit and find his form.