Everton FC are on the verge of tying up a deal for an Irish teenager they hope can develop into the next Seamus Coleman.
Promising right-back Ryan Robinson, 18, impressed Roberto Martinez during a recent trial at Finch Farm, and the Blues boss wants to recruit him initially as part of Alan Stubbs’ U21s squad next term.
Martinez is satisfied with his current first-team options in both full-back slots with Coleman and Tony Hibbert, who is in talks over a new deal, competing on the right, and Leighton Baines, Bryan Oviedo and Luke Garbutt available at left-back.
However, part of the Catalan’s plans this summer are to sign two exciting youngster for the long-term, who possess all the attacking flair he requires from full-backs.
The initial fee for Robinson will be under £1m, although Johnny McDonnell, the Republic of Ireland U19 international’s manager at Shelbourne, said he would insist on significant add-on fees to ensure the club are rewarded if his protegee goes on to follow the example of Everton’s current right-back.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – Saturday, April 26, 2014: Everton’s Seamus Coleman looks dejected after his own-goal helped seal a 2-0 defeat against Southampton during the Premiership match at St Mary’s Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
Everton famously paid just £60,000 up front to sign Coleman from Sligo Rovers in January 2009, with the defender going on to become an acclaimed Irish international. Earlier this month he was voted the club’s player of the season, and named in the PFA team of the year.
Robinson only made his full League of Ireland debut against Waterford United last week. But McDonnell said Everton are close to capturing a player with the potential to be a success in the Premier League.
“Ryan certainly has a big future in the game,” he said. “Everton would have seen a rawness to him but he has a lot going for him. We’d have no problem allowing him to move on to a better level in England. Everton are chipping away with us on Ryan at the moment and we hope to get the deal over the line soon.
“The initial fee won’t make us millionaires but we’ll make sure it’s heavy on the end of it. It might be better for us to go for the add-ons and everything else.”
Once he has sealed the signature of Robinson, Martinez will then turn his attentions back to Dundee United’s Andrew Robertson. The Blues have been monitoring the 20-year-old since last summer, and his stock has risen during the recently concluded Scottish Premier League campaign.
After a Scotland cap and the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award, Robertson had to be content with a Scottish Cup winner’s runners-up medal on Saturday after his side lost 2-0 to St Johnstone.
Nevertheless, it has been an impressive rise from part-time football with Queen’s Park just 12 months ago for the left-back, who is also being watched by other English top flight clubs.
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