Frank Lampard labelled teenager Isaac Price “the best player on the pitch” as Everton sealed a goalless draw against Celtic in the Sydney Super Cup.
The Blues boss was encouraged by the penalty shootout victory against the Scottish champions, after entering the match on the back of six losses in eight matches, and consecutive defeats to Bournemouth on the south coast.
The 19-year-old starlet made his first start for The Toffees on Sunday 20 November, playing as part of a double pivot with Abdoulaye Doucoure in midfield, and impressing throughout.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, The Toffees manager said: “I would’ve played Isaac, anyway, because he has trained really well in recent weeks and he is playing well.
“With Tom out, that meant we had to go to a back three today as we didn’t have any other midfield players. Doucs got injured at half-time and then we were playing wingers in midfield. That is where we are at.
“Obviously, we have players at the World Cup and Alex [Iwobi] is with his national team so we are okay once we get everybody back and fit, to a degree, but I suppose it gives an opportunity to Isaac Price who was the best player on the pitch.”
Price was easily one of the best players on the pitch during the goalless draw, showing good energy, and a great range of passing all game long.
The midfielder didn’t look out of place by any means and seemed at home playing with the first team, which will please Lampard as he looks for alternatives for his struggling midfield.
Now again the youngster was caught out in possession – which is to be expected – but this did not dampen his confidence, and he stayed composed on the ball against a strong Celtic side.
Games such as these are usually the perfect scenario to try out some young talent and give them some game time, and Price will likely get another run out following this impressive display.
With Alex Iwobi, Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana on international duty and Tom Davies suffering a knee injury in Australia, Lampard’s options in midfield are limited and will in turn open the door for Price.