Kenny Shiels fears Matthew Kennedy has left Kilmarnock too soon by joining Everton

Matthew Kennedy: Has joined Everton but Kilmarnock boss Kenny Shiels fears the move may be too soon

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Kilmarnock manager Kenny Shiels fears that teenage striker Matthew Kennedy has left the club too soon and put his long-term development in jeopardy.

The 17-year-old joined Everton for a six-figure fee on transfer deadline day after playing just 14 times for Kilmarnock.

And Shiels thinks the move to England could have come too soon for the player who only made his debut for Kilmarnock last year.

"I really would've liked him to stay to get some more proper development," said Shiels.

"Hopefully, he'll succeed; I really want the boy to do well, that's important to me.

"Having had two years' experience behind him would be ideal.

"If you draw parallels and make comparisons of all the players that have gone down to the English Premier League, 95% of them have had a spell in the SPL first.

"Steven Fletcher, Gary Caldwell, the two lads at Hamilton and Steven Naismith: they've all served their apprenticeships in the SPL.

"I feel that, the type of boy Matthew is, I really would've liked him to stay to get some more proper development here in a development programme, rather than thrown in to the rigours of the English Premier League."