February 29, 2024

Everton are back in action again tonight, however, the focus instead shifts from securing safety in the league to a chance at cup glory, with the EFL Cup rolling into town.

Having enjoyed a surprise victory on the road on Sunday, brushing aside a beleaguered West Ham United, there is renewed hope on Merseyside that something truly special could occur this campaign.

Such a notion is made especially possible should they steer well clear of the drop, with their focus able to finally shift elsewhere, playing in a pressure-free environment.

That is all Sean Dyche will have been craving since his January appointment, with security a prerequisite for a club of this stature.

As such, changes are expected to be made from that aforementioned win, especially with another Goodison Park clash on the horizon.

Everton FC v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Perhaps, it could even mark an opportunity to kickstart the career of an academy star, with one youngster clearly standing out given his presence on the bench during some first-team matches this campaign.

Whilst the likes of Arnaut Danjuma and Beto might also come into the side, Mackenzie Hunt is a name fans would also likely love to see more than most.

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Who is Mackenzie Hunt?

Having joined the academy at the age of just six, despite enduring a small hiatus in which his family moved to Dubai, the 21-year-old has been at Finch Farm consistently now since he was 13.

A versatile attacker able to play on both flanks, through the middle and in defence, his energy and trickery are sure to get the home support livened up for what could be quite a tame affair despite the opportunity they have been gifted. After all, it was only last year that coach Paul Tait had branded him ‘outstanding‘.

Claiming victory at home to the Clarets will see Everton reach the quarter-finals of a competition that has already seen Manchester City knocked out, with another of Newcastle United and Manchester United to go.

It has opened up nicely, and so there will likely only be enough space for one lucky youngster to earn his spot amongst the senior stars.

Everton v Sporting Lisbon - Pre-Season Friendly
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

With one goal in the Premier League 2 already this campaign despite having featured at left-back, there is no predicting where he might operate should Dyche hand him his first-ever senior start.

However, his inclusion is one that would certainly be welcomed by the home crowd, provided they still get a result.

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