Phillip Cocu has made his first signing of Derby County boss, with Everton midfielder Kieran Dowell arriving on a season-long loan deal.

The England Under-21 international arrives after winning promotion while on loan with Sheffield United last season, and he will offer fresh options for Cocu in the middle of the park.

Here is everything you need to know about our new recruit…

The Start

Born in Ormskirk, Dowell has been with Everton since he was seven years old and he signed a scholarship with the club in June 2014.

While growing up at the Everton Academy, Dowell idolised Spanish midfielder Mikel Arteta, who starred for the Toffees between 2005 and 2011.

Speaking in 2017, he said: “He was so graceful on the ball and he made everything look easy. He was great to watch and he is someone who I looked at and tried to implement areas of his game into my own.”

Dowell made his debut for his boyhood club in December 2014 against FC Krasnodar in the UEFA Europa League, before signing his first professional deal soon after.

His Premier League bow followed during the 2015/16 season, and the season after he was a member of the Everton Under-23 side that won the inaugural Premier League 2 title.

Loan Spells

With regular first team football the next step in his development, Dowell joined Derby’s East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.

He impressed down the other end of the A52, with 10 goals in all competitions for the club including his first career hat-trick, against Hull City in October 2017.

Dowell started Forest’s 2-0 defeat against Derby that same month, before coming on as a substitute against the Rams at the City Ground in March 2018.

The midfielder would have been hoping to break into the Everton first team for the 2018/19 season, but he only managed two EFL Cup appearances before heading out on another loan spell, this time with promotion-chasing Sheffield United.

He was in and out of the team, with eight starts and eight appearances from the bench and a crucial goal in a 1-0 away win against West Brom, as the season ended with Chris Wilder’s side winning automatic promotion to the top flight.

World Champion

An England international at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level, Dowell’s biggest career achievement to date came in the summer of 2017 with the Under-20s.

Working under former Derby winger Paul Simpson and alongside last season’s Player of the Year Fikayo Tomori, Dowell was a key member of the Young Lions side that won the FIFA U-20 World Cup.

He played in every game, including the 1-0 final win against Venezuela, scoring one goal against South Korea that secured England’s place in the knock-out phase.

Dowell was also present in the England Under-21 squad for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship this summer, where he started the final two group games.