Another rising star in the making at Goodison

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One of the key early season debates among Evertonians centres on the Irish full back Seamus Coleman. The 21-year-old bought from Sligo Rovers for just £60,000 is increasingly being touted as Everton's answer to Gareth Bale's current form.

Coleman is a right back, though the few performances he has made so far in the royal blue are more reminiscent of a speedy right winger. Indeed, the aforementioned Bale discovered this himself during Coleman's Premier League debut last season.

Replacing the injured Joseph Yobo early in the first half of a home match against Tottenham, Coleman put in a man-of-the-match performance and was widely credited with dragging Everton from 2-0 down to earn a draw.

Strong surges down the right wing put Bale under pressure, exposed the opposition's defensive weaknesses, and ultimately led to the goals which gave Everton a much needed draw.

Regular appearances remained few and far between for Coleman. Another impressive performance and an assist came in an FA Cup win against Carlisle, before a loan spell at Blackpool catapulted Coleman into the rigours of a promotion challenge and regular first team football.

He went on to play a key role as Ian Holloway's team achieved promotion, contributing an impressive goal in a 4-2 win away to Scunthorpe and slotting nicely into the team's attacking style.

Holloway was keen to recruit Coleman on another loan for 2010-11, but David Moyes has preferred to retain the Irishman. Coleman undoubtedly bolsters the depth of the squad, but many fans would prefer to see him play a bigger role.

Coleman's first start of this season came against Huddersfield in the League Cup. Everton won 5-1 with an impressive display of overlapping attack down the right hand side.

Coleman's willingness to get forward tormented the Huddersfield left back Peltier, resulting in a red card later in the game when he brought Coleman down for Everton's second penalty kick of the game.

Despite this promising start to his Everton career, there remains a debate as to who is the best option for Everton at right back.

He distinguishes himself from the competition through his attacking instinct, but a player such as Tony Hibbert offers strong defensive attributes while Phil Neville can also slot in at right back, particularly when competition in his usual position of central midfield is as strong as it has been in years.

The defensive side of Coleman's game may still need some work, but that will only be honed if he plays top-flight football regularly. However, another circumstance that may work against him is that Everton have no established right sided midfielder.

Pienaar and Bilyaletdinov are the candidates most likely to slot into that position, but it is not either player's preferred position and it is possible that neither would be likely to drop in and provide cover for Coleman's rampaging runs.

As such, Hibbert or Neville are likely to provide greater defensive comfort, particularly against the ingenuity and counter-attacking tendencies of players like Ashley Young or Ryan Giggs.

Perhaps, though, the answer to the dilemma lies in the question itself. The Gwladys Street have been calling for a wide player with pace and the ability to beat a man for some time.

When paired together, Baines and Pienaar combine with great effect to achieve this, but similar play has been lacking on the right of midfield for some time.

Although a right back by trade, the rave reviews Seamus Coleman has received have almost universally been for the exciting attacking play which can rouse both teammates and supporters from a slumber.

With a growing reputation for tricky wide play, it may just be that the solution to the problematic right side of midfield lies at the feet of a young Irishman from Sligo.

The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Seamus Coleman
Premier League

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