There is a controlled confidence about Anthony Gordon. The Everton forward, still six months shy of his 20th birthday, displays a maturity beyond his years as he reflects on a hectic past month in his first-ever interview with Sky Sports.
Back in June, some may not have expected him to be part of Everton’s youngest-ever starting XI in a Premier League Merseyside derby, but not the player himself.
“I wasn’t surprised that I started because I’d been working really hard in lockdown,” he says. “I was expecting to play. I was really confident in myself and the manager showed his trust in me.”
Everton vs A Villa
July 16, 2020, 5:30pm
Everton have experienced an indifferent return to action under Carlo Ancelotti, winning two and losing two of their five games, but the kid from Kirkdale has been the standout performer, a shining light for supporters understandably underwhelmed by a mid-table finish.
There is no sense of drift when it comes to Gordon. He moved out of his family home at the peak of the pandemic for a fortnight in order not to expose himself to his stepfather Paul’s vulnerable immune system, spending lockdown period on an “army camp” with Liverpool personal trainer Callum Webb.
“It was an idea that me and my friends had that I wouldn’t let lockdown go to waste by losing any fitness or any shape,” Gordon exclusively tells Sky Sports, reflecting on the period of intense conditioning.
“I wanted to get that edge that could possibly turn me into a Premier League player. It was massive for me to do that and I pushed myself as much as I could. I was up early mornings doing two to three sessions a day and I really enjoyed it as it pushed me to my limits.
“It was like an army camp and there was no rest. My mentality grew so much from doing that. I can’t even describe how much more mature I am just because of that short space of time.”
The 19-year-old showed he had reaped the benefits by recording the best sprint figures in the Liverpool game (15) on his full Premier League debut – despite only playing an hour.
He also stood…