Premier League

Kenya prospect Onyango hails Everton's Benitez after Premier League debut against Manchester City

11:34 EAT 25/11/2021
Everton midfielder Tyler Onyango of Kenya.
The starlet was introduced in the latter stages of the encounter at the Etihad when the Toffees lost to the champions

Harambee Stars prospect Tyler Onyango has praised his working relationship with Everton manager Rafa Benitez after he made his Premier League debut against Manchester City on Saturday.

The 18-year-old starlet made his first senior appearance as a substitute in an FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday in January and trained with Everton's first team during the international break before he was engaged at the Etihad Stadium, where they lost 3-0.

"A Premier League debut is what you dream about as a kid, and to finally get on the pitch was class," Onyango told the club's portal. "The manager told me to just enjoy it. 

"He has been amazing with me, I trained properly with the first team during the international break and straight away he was giving me bits of advice, asking me what I think are the biggest weaknesses in my game and looking to improve them.

"He stayed out after training going through extra bits with me. He is a great coach and is already trying to add things to my game.

"I am feeling good, match-fit. Monday was my seventh game since my injury, and I am getting fitter and sharper.

"I have to keep putting in a good performance for the Under-23s and when I have chances to train with the first team, keep proving myself and showing what I can do, continue chipping away and see what can happen."

Horrible Time

Onyango also spoke about an ankle injury he suffered in April and how it derailed his Premier League dream: "I started 2021 well, I was in and around the first team but then got my injury," he added.

"I was made up, all through my rehab, all I was thinking about was getting back on the pitch and around the first team. To actually do it is brilliant, better than I could have imagined.

"It was a tough, horrible time, but I worked as hard as I could. I was so happy to be where I was and make my debut [in January], I wanted to push on again.

"It was a bad time to get the injury, there were a lot of injuries around the first team, so I thought I had a chance of a Premier League debut last season.

"But it wasn’t meant to be, so I thought, ‘I have to get my head down, work as hard as I can in the gym, put on a bit of muscle, then come back a better player’.

"And my opportunity against City was a result of putting in that hard work."

Onyango was involved in Everton's U23 game against Brighton at Goodison Park, 24 hours after replacing Allan in the Premier League in Manchester.