By Harvey Byrne

Everton remain interested in young Sheffield Wednesday striker George Hirst after having a January bid rejected, according to a report.

The Liverpool Echo has detailed on it’s website on Friday that the Toffees see the 18-year-old forward as someone who can strengthen their title winning Under-23s team for the next campaign.

The Merseysiders have also been linked with QPR’s Josh Bowler and Newcastle’s Lewis Gibson this summer.

But, Hirst, the son of former England international David Hirst is a long-term target for Everton and the Blues’ Under-23s scout Jamie Hoyland has confirmed that Sheffield Wednesday rejected an offer from the Toffees for the youngster in the winter.

“We were interested in him earlier on this season, I’ll admit it, we put a little bid in to Sheffield Wednesday (in January) but (they said) no way,” told Hoyland to Sheffield Live TV, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“Unfortunately for George, Wednesday have signed more and more centre forwards so it might be best to go and get some league football and develop in professional football, in the mens game.

“He’s done fantastic for England any time I’ve seen him.

“Forty goals, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re scoring 40 goals, so now you’ve left that behind you, your youth football, go and prosper now and show people what you can do in the real game.”

Hirst had a fine last campaign for club and country and following a goal for England’s Under-20s in the Toulon Tournament against Japan he marked his 40th for the campaign, as reported by the Sheffield Star.

His goal return would have caught the eye of many and a move to a thriving academy like Everton’s could be tempting.

The Toffees have been hailed in the last campaign for handing youngsters a chance and after David Unsworth led his Under-23s team to a Premier League 2 title win it is thought that the Blues’ future is bright.

Hirst, meanwhile has already made two first team appearances for Sheffield Wednesday, but he may struggle to break into the team further as the Owls boast Jordan Rhodes, Sam Winnall, Gary Hooper and Steven Fletcher in their forward line as they aim for promotion.

Football Insider verdict:

Hirst’s goal return is very impressive, but given that he has not yet broken into the Sheffield Wednesday first team on a more regular basis people must refrain from tagging him as England’s next bright thing. There is no doubt that he is at the top of his level in the youth system. However, senior football is a whole different prospect and many have failed before him. However, given the amount of players Everton have brought through in the past year and the seemingly excellent coaching from David Unsworth there aren’t many better teams that Hirst could join at this moment in time.

In other Everton transfer news, this £40million-valued playmaker is still in Koeman’s sights after the signing of Davy Klaassen.

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