Report: Everton teenager once compared to Leighton Baines set to complete £4m move to PL rivals

Everton teenager Ishe Samuels-Smith is now on the verge of a move away from Goodison Park with Chelsea set to sign the youngster.

The left-back, once compared to Leighton Baines, has been the subject of transfer speculation with Manchester City and Spurs also reportedly interested.

However, as per The Athletic, the 17-year-old now looks set to move to Stamford Bridge in a deal worth £4m.

Samuels-Smith has yet to make a first team appearance for Everton, despite being named in the squad a number of times last season.

With that in mind, making some money on unproven talent may be a good deal for Everton given the club’s precarious financial situation.

However, the teenager is just the latest academy star to move away from the club, following Isaac Price’s decision to reject a new contract and instead sign for Belgian side Standard Liege earlier this summer.

Everton must resist temptation to profit on upcoming talent such as Ishe Samuels-Smith

Any comparison to Leighton Baines is high praise and with Everton’s current left-back option of Vitalli Mykolenko lacking Premier League quality, Samuels-Smith could have had a gateway to first team football with Everton.

However, the young man looks set to depart in a £4m deal in an incredibly disappointing outcome, though hopefully the fee will be used to reinvest within Sean Dyche’s squad.

It has been some time now since an Everton academy graduate had a meaningful impact on the first team, and questions have to be asked about the player development at youth level.

Indeed, Tom Davies’ was the last academy graduate to become a regular member of the senior squad, though he also failed to fulfil his potential and has now departed on a free transfer.

22-year-old Ellis Simms also looks likely to leave this summer and looked out of his depth at times in the Premier League last season.

The sale of Ishe Samuels-Smith is just the continuation of a depressing trend for Everton’s young talent.

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