Everton defender Jonjoe Kenny refused to leave his boyhood club on loan this summer as he was determined to stay and fight for a place in the first-team at Goodison Park, according to Toffees legend and former manager Joe Royle.
Kenny, 20, has made eight appearances for his boyhood club this season after breaking into the senior squad under former manager Ronald Koeman, whose successor remains a mystery, and is one of a number of young talented prospects making an impression on Merseyside.
Royle, who was manager when Everton won the FA Cup in 1995, has told of his admiration for Kenny's decision to fight for a first-team berth despite competition from the more established pair of Mason Holgate and Cuco Martina, who should be available for selection after the injury despite suffering a nasty looking neck injury against Lyon last week, and is sure the former Everton Under-23 captain will do everything in his power to remain in the starting line-up when Seamus Coleman makes his return to fitness from a horrific leg break.
"The fans have wanted to see Jonjoe given a chance. He did not want to go on loan, he wanted to play for Everton," Royle told Everton's official website.
"The easy option would have been to send him out, but he wanted to stay and play for Everton and he has got his chance now.
"He knows he has a fight on because Seamus (Coleman) is working his way back. But, I tell you what, once Jonjoe has got the shirt, he will do his best to keep it for as long as possible."
Coleman is hoping to return to action before Christmas and will likely be restored to Everton's starting line-up as soon as he proves his fitness, but until then Kenny will be likely be the one tasked with filling the gaping void left by the Republic of Ireland international.
The marauding full-back, who was part of the England Under-20 team that won the World Cup in the summer, will hope to be afforded another start by David Unsworth or Everton's prospective new manager for their crucial clash away at Crystal Palace after the international break.