Everton scout Jamie Hoyland has praised Sheffield United starlet David Brooks, a reported target for the Toffees, and believes Blades boss Chris Wilder could have quite a talent on his hands if he manages to deal with the rigours of league football.
Everton are intent on strengthening both their senior squad and their Under-23 side this summer, and The Telegraph reports that the Blues hierarchy have shown an interest in teenager Brooks and may submit an offer in the coming months.
Hoyland, Everton's chief Under-23 scout, is impressed by the potential the 19-year-old possesses and is believes the time he spent with Manchester City's academy gives a good barometer of his calibre, though he has remained tightlipped on the topic of any potential interest from Everton.
"He's [Brooks] a lad who got released off Manchester City when he was 16, so obviously his pedigree is good.I think he's 19 - he still looks, probably, about 14/15. And that's the thing about him, he's still not developed physically [into] what he should be," Hoyland was quoted as saying by The Liverpool Echo.
"I've seen Sheffield United's Under-23s quite a lot. He's a good player. He drifts, he can get on the ball, he's got great balance, he goes past people and he can pick a pass."
"It'll be interesting now going into league football, like I was saying about development, it probably will toughen him up because it's a different pace again, playing against men, and for three points as well where it really matters.
"It'll be a great test and if he comes through that with flying colours I think Chris will have a great player on his hands."
Everton's youth recruitment drive seems to be gathering pace. Along with Brooks, Everton are also interested in Sheffield Wednesday forward George Hirst and are believed to be close to completing a deal for Queens Park Rangers winger Josh Bowler.
The Blues' initial £3m offer - £1.5m up front with the rest in add-ons - was rejected by the Championship outfit last month, but the 18-year-old has signalled his desire to swap London for Merseyside this summer, according to The Daily Mail.