Liam Walsh only joined League Two side Yeovil Town on-loan at the start of January, but the young Evertonian has already made quite an impact. Despite being the youngest player in the Glovers squad, the midfielder has started all six games since his arrival.
Tough-tackling and with an eye for a pass, Walsh set up his side’s opening goal against AFC Wimbledon last Saturday: a weighted through ball allowing Jack Compton to slot home.
The 18-year-old went from provider to poacher three days later as his 70th minute strike secured Yeovil a 1-1 draw at Luton Town.
Walsh was coolness personified as he finished neatly after his initial effort had been blocked.
That draw not only moved the Somerset side four points clear of the relegation zone as they attempt to avoid a third successive relegation, but also saw Walsh register his first professional goal.
Glovers’ supporters have certainly formed an affinity with the Toffees’ loanee. He epitomises the desire and work-rate needed for Yeovil to achieve their one objective this season: survival.
Walsh’s impact is shown on social media; one supporter tweeted that the midfielder has been “first class. He has great strength for someone of his stature and always looks like creating something going forward”. After the victory over AFC Wimbledon, another fan said Walsh was “quality as ever yesterday, he has such a good attitude on the pitch”.
Yeovil appointed a new manager over the Christmas period with the club rock bottom of the Football League. They promoted from within as former player and Technical Coach Darren Way took the reins.
Fast forward a month and a win against struggling York City, their first league victory in 17 games, was followed up with further successes against Crawley Town and promotion-chasing AFC Wimbledon.
This run has coincided with Walsh’s introduction and he has played a major part in Yeovil’s upturn in form. The midfielder’s current loan deal is due to end this weekend but no doubt the Glovers will be doing all they can to extend his spell in the West Country.
Manager Way has a good relationship with Everton boss Roberto Martinez after the two played together for Swansea City; it is likely this was a defining factor in Walsh’s move to Huish Park and it could be crucial again if Yeovil are to secure the youngster’s services for at least another month.
I interviewed him for Yeovil’s Matchday Programme a couple of weeks ago and his ambition is clear to see. When I asked him where he would like to see himself in twelve months’ time, Walsh replied: “I’d like to be making my debut for Everton in the Premier League”.
If he keeps performing like he has been, I would not bet against it.
Written by Josh Wilde