Everton land hot defensive prospect Gibson

Thursday, 27 July, 2017 48comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton FC
Everton have confirmed the capture of England U17 defender Lewis Gibson from Newcastle in a deal that could reportedly top £6m.

The 17-year-old put pen to paper on a three-year contract at Finch Farm today, ending weeks of talk that the Blues were set to prise him way from the Magpies.

Gibson is the latest exciting addition to David Unsworth's Under-23s team, coming on the heels of Josh Bowler's arrival from Queens Park Rangers whose own move could eventually be worth £4m, and the acquisition of Nathangelo Markelo, loanee Anton Donkor and Boris Mathis.

"Everton is a brilliant club and when the opportunity presented itself I wanted to be part of it," Gibson said on evertonfc.com.

"The reputation has long been there that Everton brings through young players. You only have to look at the likes of Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny and several others who are battling for first-team places to know this.

"I'm a player who is willing to put my body on the line, the kind of defender who likes to tackle and is not afraid. I'm excited to be part of things here and I want to continue developing as a player. This is where I want to be."


Reader Comments (48)

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John Smith
1 Posted 27/07/2017 at 11:33:29
Happy to see 17-year-old Newcastle defender join our U23 side for £6 million. We keep stealing these talented youngsters right out from under teams that would ordinarily dash our hopes in past windows. COYB.
David Milner
2 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:00:47
He certainly says the right things.
Michael Burke
3 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:04:52
Quite a few Geordie mates are annoyed they've let him go. Usually a good sign!
James Flynn
4 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:07:02
"I'm a player who is willing to put my body on the line, the kind of defender who likes to tackle and is not afraid... "

Damn young'un! OK.

Chris Gould
5 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:08:49
Excellent news, but for £6 million (which is a huge amount for a kid with no first team experience) I would have expected a longer contract. Potentially, he could spend 3 years in the U23s, never play for the first team, and then leave at the end of his contract. That's an expensive U23s signing.

I would have expected at least 5 years, but I guess we have our reasons. In saying that, I guess the full amount would be dependent on first team appearances, which is unlikely at his age.

James Flynn
6 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:09:33
And, "battling for first-team places" from a 17-year-old?

Bespeaks arrogance and confidence. I like it.

Steven Scaffardi
7 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:13:12
@Chris 4 - I think 3 years is the longest contract you can have at 17. I'm sure that'll switch to 5 years when he turns 18.
Matt Muzi
8 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:13:42
If he realises his potential, £6 million will seem like peanuts.

Well done to the club, David Unsworth & his team for making us such an attractive prospect for young players, I think it's brilliant!

Jason Broome
9 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:22:14
At this rate, the Under-23 squad is going to give the 1st team a run for its money.
David Barks
10 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:25:35
He looks like quite a big kid, already with a man's body there. We'll see what we have in a few years...
Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:32:31
There is going to be some tidy attendances when the U23s and youth teams play at Goodison this season. As David Barks says, he looks like a very big player, could be another Duncan Edwards. I would love it if he had his skill.
Mike Gaynes
13 Posted 27/07/2017 at 15:59:05
Michael #2, that feeling extends to the journos also... this article is entitled "Newcastle are selling Lewis Gibson and it makes absolutely no sense":


And this one describes his departure as "crushing" for Benitez:


John Audsley
14 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:03:01
Love the Duncan Edwards talk Dave.

Before my time but what a beautiful player.

I like what he says and I'm sure he can be a player for us very soon.

John Pierce
15 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:12:05
Headline: 'Small Club' nabs Prospect from under Benitez's nose.
James Flynn
16 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:18:06
I'm sure none of us have seen him play. Anyone have a Geordie mate who's actually seen him play?

If you do, couple questions for them:

1. Does he have quick feet? Jags and Distin did. In the old TW debate about John Stones, my two cents was that he'd never be that good a defender because his feet were slow. Be interested to know about that with Gibson.

2. Can he handle the ball/make a pass? Stones could. Not a strength for Jags and Distin, though.

Anyway, looking at photos of him, he appears huge for a kid celebrating his 17th birthday just 10 days ago. At a minimum, if it turns out we've bought a slow-footed, mean-spirited grog of a centre-back who plays angry; Leicester won a title with a pair of them.

But at £6 Mil. I'm guessing, and hoping, he's all that and more.

James Hughes
19 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:19:28
Mike, thanks for the links.

There seems to be more and more evidence that we have a plan and direction for the club's future. Exciting times ahead.

Terry White
21 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:21:08
Dave (#10) and John (#13), very few have the potential to be as good as Duncan Edwards. Gibson does look like he has the Edwards physique so let's hope he can be even half as good as him, then Gibson will have become some player.
Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:33:11
Terry (#20), yes Duncan Edwards, a giant of a player, so young to die, with several more talented players, at Munich, what a career he would have had in football.

I remember him scoring the winner, from a distance, in an FA Cup game against us at Old Trafford in the fifties, after Albert Dunlop had saved Everton with some brilliant saves during the match.

Duncan was a cousin of Dennis Stevens, another very good player for Everton.

Charlie Lloyd
24 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:40:03
Unfortunate for Benitez eh! Having to sell to a big city.

Looks a big lad, speaks well. Let's see how he develops.

Michael Penley
25 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:43:04
At least he actually looks like a defender. No skinny arms like Besic and Funes Mori on this lad.
Anthony Dwyer
26 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:47:41
Keep them coming!
Brent Stephens
27 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:49:51
Up to £6m for the lad, up to £4m for Bowler. Only a season or two ago we'd be looking to sign some first team players for that. Starts to put £45m for Siggy in perspective.
Terry White
28 Posted 27/07/2017 at 16:53:44
Duncan broke my young heart that day, Dave (#22) with that last-minute goal.

I believe you are correct that Dunlop had kept us in the game. We were a poor team at that time while United were the country's best, the young Busby Babes.

Dennis Stevens was a greatly underrated part of our '63 Championship success. Never greatly liked by the fans, of course, as he replaced Bobby Collins but filled a different role to Collins, one that Catterick thought we needed, the water carrier to complement the likes of Young and Vernon in the team.

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 27/07/2017 at 17:02:54
Terry, I loved Dennis Stevens. As you say, he was unloved and underrated by a lot of Everton fans, but I think he won many over with his consistently good performances for the Blues.

Regarding that cup game with Man Utd, we were a very average team at that time but strangely enough, if my memory is correct, that is the same season we beat them 5-2 at Old Trafford in the league game.

Mark Pringle
30 Posted 27/07/2017 at 17:08:03
No, can't be a signing without a sale first. C'mon! We don't do buying without selling first!!

Welcome, Lewis!!
Chris Williams
31 Posted 27/07/2017 at 17:19:55
Yes, Dennis Stevens was massively underrated, at least initially, but won the fans over with his commitment, effort and plenty of skill.

I think the fans initially were mourning the loss of Bobby Collins rather than the coming of Dennis Stevens, who didn't help himself by missing a sitter in his home debut.

Bobby Collins was one who was forced out of the club and was one of those players, like Hickson before him, and Vernon, Young, Ball and others after him, all the way to Rooney, who were sold and left me and many others distraught..

It's probably the reason I can't get too excited about Barkley leaving, I guess. Seen it all before, and from a young age.

Phill Thompson
32 Posted 27/07/2017 at 17:53:58
James (#15), I've seen him play on TV a few times thus summer for England U17s in their run to the Euros final. He played left back and for me was one of the standouts in the team along with the Man City pair Phil Foden and Sancho.

I must admit, I was more interested in seeing how our own youngster Alex Denny played so wasn't paying particular attention to Gibson, but I remember thinking how composed, unflustered and solid he was, not making any mistakes. I'm really happy that we've got him.

Stewart Oakes
33 Posted 27/07/2017 at 17:57:54
Letting David Unsworth spend all this money on young talent is starting to make me think that the long term plan is for David to take over from Koeman as top dog when he leaves.
James Flynn
34 Posted 27/07/2017 at 18:03:16
Phil (#31), Appreciate it.

Let's see what happens.

Terry White
35 Posted 27/07/2017 at 18:08:12
Dave (#28), I was at the game when we surprisingly won 5-2 at Old Trafford but I am pretty sure it was an earlier season than the cup tie. But, I may be wrong, it has happened before when my memory lets me down.
Ray Roche
36 Posted 27/07/2017 at 18:19:47
Terry, it's a couple of seasons before my time but the record books show that we beat United 2-5 away but lost 1-2 at home in the same season that we lost 1-0 in the FA Cup.
Roger Helm
37 Posted 27/07/2017 at 18:42:56
Welcome to the club, Lewis, and let's hope you have a great Everton career. If you are a new Duncan Edwards, it will be the deal of the century!

But why do young English players love to tackle? Players In other countries see it as a last resort, a sign of failure. Much better to stay on your feet and win the ball by good positioning and interception.

Oliver Molloy
38 Posted 27/07/2017 at 18:58:48
Welcome to the "People's Club" young Lewis, go now and prove how good you are; best of luck.
Chris James
39 Posted 27/07/2017 at 19:23:16
Personally, I think this youth strategy is amazing and, dare I say it, not a million miles away from certain clubs Koeman has been associated with in Holland and Spain or indeed England.

Having a super strong youth team playing and winning together (ideally with a similar approach to the first team Barcelona/Ajax style) not only has the potential to save a fortune in the crazy transfer market (or even creates saleable/profitable assets as Southampton have found) but also strengthens the clubs identity and the concept of building a dynasty and maybe even an 'Everton way' of playing?

Obviously to complete the circle you do need to step up 2-3 each year to have a real chance, but with the likes of Davies, Holgate, Lookman, and Calvert-Lewin last season plus (it would appear) Dowell, Kenny and Connolly this season, Koeman does seem willing to do just that.

Terry White
40 Posted 27/07/2017 at 20:02:01
Thank you for clearing that up, Ray (#35).
Nicholas Ryan
41 Posted 28/07/2017 at 01:45:17
No need to ask 'Who ate all the pies?' with this photo!
Dick Fearon
42 Posted 28/07/2017 at 11:48:59
My memory must be fading because I recall vs Man Utd in the cup at Port Vale when Nobby Fielding marked Edwards out of the game. With only minutes to go an Everton attack broke down and Duncan carried the ball half the length of the pitch before smashing the winner with a thirty yard daisy cutter.

Of course, I could be wrong and possibly stand corrected.

Si Cooper
43 Posted 28/07/2017 at 13:01:16
Roger, surely it's all about when, where and how when it comes to tackling, and having the nous to pick your moment.

Interceptions are great when they come off but pretty risky when they fail. There is not much worse for a defender than having to constantly cover for someone else who is far too cavalier in trying for the eye-catching.

Plenty of tackles are won in the mind before the players actually get to the ball. Personally, I see nothing wrong with a player who is willing and able to risk a bit of pain when required.

Si Cooper
44 Posted 28/07/2017 at 13:08:24
Just to add to my post.

Tackling is a skill and some are much better than others. A player should be able to relish a courageous / well-executed tackle without being considered to be some sort of footballing degenerate.

Rudi Coote
45 Posted 28/07/2017 at 15:28:49
I had the pleasure of meeting Denis Stevens at a party during the 62-63 season. Hell of a nice fella. I was 16 at the time and tongue tied didn't know what to say to him. I didn't know he was a cousin of Edwards... The things you learn on ToffeeWeb!
Will Jones
46 Posted 28/07/2017 at 21:13:42
Well done, Toffees! I cannot get enough of this! This is so much the right thing to do.

You might loose at least half of the youngsters but you might not. So much better than spending £45m on a 28-year-old, for example, with no return value.

David Barks
47 Posted 28/07/2017 at 21:25:49
Will Jones,

Right, because its always better to stockpile a bunch of "maybes" and "what ifs" as opposed to a proven commodity. I mean, who would want Messi? He's not a teenager so no good for us, right?

Jim Knightley
48 Posted 28/07/2017 at 21:50:14
David – obviously we can't attract top class talent, but we can buy early and develop them. That's the only way we will be able to bridge a gap that has been years in the making (and decades in some cases).

Invest in top youth prospects, whilst spending on the senior squad. They won't all come off, but as Stones has demonstrated, some will. A lot more will now that Walsh is on board and we are investing well.

Raymond Fox
49 Posted 28/07/2017 at 22:17:55
I don't think there is a better youth set-up than ours in the League at this time.

There's that much at stake at Everton now though, that when to play the young players is a dilemma for Koeman I guess.

All you can say is: If they're good enough, play them.

Garry Corgan
50 Posted 29/07/2017 at 01:07:50
Speaking of youngsters, has anyone got any information on Joshua Zirkzee? Did we sign him or not?
Fran Mitchell
51 Posted 30/07/2017 at 01:41:19
David Barks, are you suggesting Everton have somehow passed on the opportunity to sign Messi in favour of Gibson?

We need to combine both investment in the best youth around, and the investment in proven First team talent. This way, we Will be able to keep hold of the youth that do develop into absolute top class players.

David Barks
52 Posted 30/07/2017 at 02:20:09

No, I was responding to a post saying how it's better to sign this kid as opposed to a 28-year-old.

Pretty simple really. I'll take a proven professional and competing for trophies over promising futures.

Steven Jones
53 Posted 30/07/2017 at 17:38:55
The obvious simple answer is to do both – for current success – and rolling the dice with professional judgement and great set up to produce even better first team players in future years.

Lukaku was an example – so was Stones. If we can get a £5-10m player that is the best in the country in 3-5 years, then their value is £50-100M on the market and whilst playing for Everton, they can bridge the gap to the top 6 and the other European heavyweights.

We are set up well for this strategy – better than Chelsea and Man City who cannot afford room in the first team as they have squad number 20th position being a £40m player. They have to play – or in Chelsea's case, they farm 30-plus of them out under massive contracts.

We are now getting the likes of Keane and Gibson coming as they have sight of an opportunity to play – as did Lukaku.

Only warning is that it may not work all the time and we need to be patient over the longer term and keep doing the right things.

Spending bigger for the first team – leaving squad fillers and bench and cup game and players 18 to 25 as young blood being given their chance Fantastic strategy! Kenwright, Moshiri, Walsh and Koeman get plaudits but so do Moyes and Martinez for evolving this. Sheeds and others deserve a hand to!

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