Young Blues trio sign new contracts

Thursday, 14 December, 2017 56comments  |  Jump to most recent
Everton have moved to secure the futures of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate and Jonjoe Kenny by handing the three players new deals.

The club have announced that Kenny and Holgate have put pen to paper on new contracts that tie them to Goodison Park until June 2022 while Calvert-Lewin has signed on until the summer of 2023.

The improved and extended terms are a reward for their impressive recent performances in the first team and an acknowledgement that all three are important members of the Blues' squad.

Calvert-Lewin, 20, was acquired last year in a £1.1m deal from Sheffield United and had been expected to spend time in the Blues Under-23s setup while he honed his craft.

He was blooded ahead of schedule by Ronald Koeman last term, however, and has been asked to take centre stage this season following the departure of Romelu Lukaku and has scored six times in all competitions and registered four assists in the Premier League.

“It's an exciting time to be here and, for me, learning from players such as Wayne Rooney couldn't be better for my ongoing development,” Calvert-Lewin said.

Holgate, an acquisition from Barnsley two years ago for a reported £1m, has been used primarily as an emergency fullback under the last two Everton managers but has been excelling recently in his preferred role as a centre-half.

Like Calvert-Lewin, his new deal is a one-year extension to his existing contract and he said of the news:

“It is a good time to be young at Everton. You get a lot of chances. Every now and then, clubs get a spurt of players from the same generation coming through and hopefully that is what is happening here.”

Kenny, meanwhile, has come through Everton's renowned Finch Farm youth system having joined the club as a nine-year-old. He was one of the five Blues players who played in England's Under-20 World Cup-winning team this past summer and has been a more than able deputy for the injured Seamus Coleman in recent weeks.

He has agreed to a three-year extension on his previous deal which was set to expire in 2019.

“I want to stay at Everton for as long as I can but I know I've got to keep on playing week in, week out, playing well and impressing,” he said.


Reader Comments (56)

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Christopher Nicholls
1 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:10:30
Great news on Mason, Jonjoe and Dom. Easy to forget how early it is in their careers.

Would love some positive news on Barkely, but it might take a miracle to turn him round. I think he's been ill-advised. Hope for the best and all that.

Brian Williams
2 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:17:53
Excellent news!
Andrew Keatley
3 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:18:29
Excellent news, and apt reward for their respective performances and development so far this season.
Michael Kenrick
4 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:19:16
Fantastic news. Just gotta persuade them to stay with "the Project"... oopps, no, wait... What am I saying?
David Owen
5 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:19:54
Excellent news, these three have proved they can cope at this level which is not always the case. Hope to see a few more in the next couple of seasons. The fans love to see young players who have come through the ranks. Let's get the stadium sorted and we can start dreaming again.
Brian Williams
6 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:20:42
Steady Michael. We've moved on y'know. :-)
Jack Convery
7 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:24:39
There's a project still? Good news on the contracts front – now move those on who won't figure anymore. We know who they are but does Jafar & Lago?
Eugene Kearney
8 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:26:39
Great to read good news regularly about EFC again.

It feels like the summer is back!! Hope this current bubble doesn't burst so quickly.

Jay Harris
9 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:29:44
Great news and well deserved recognition of the kids and their invaluable contribution.

Dominic already looks 10 times the player Kone or Valencia were and Jonjoe is becoming the player we all hoped for.

Mason is looking solid alongside his buddy Ashley Williams, so all-round a happier place than we were a few months ago.

John McFarlane
10 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:35:44
Hi Michael, [4] I view these signings as excellent news, can you put the icing on the cake for me by confirming that the 6 post rule has been relaxed?.

I read all the threads although I try not to get too involved, and I've noticed in the last few days there seems to be a few contributors exceeding the limit, and I confess that I too am guilty of doing so.

My plea for clemency, is that I thought that I may well have missed the armistice declaration.

Lenny Kingman
11 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:38:13
Lucky boys.

Do not let this great club down. It's a blessing.
Bill Gienapp
12 Posted 14/12/2017 at 18:46:31
Holgate will likely prove to be Martinez's most significant signing, long-term.

I was growing concerned that he was perched awkwardly between fullback and centreback, without quite fitting the mold of either, but his pairing with Williams these past few matches has looked very heartening indeed.

Paul Thompson
13 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:08:00
A pleasing as well as wise move. Kenny's progress has been rapid enough to offer serious competition to Seamus. Holgate is also benefiting from a longer run and is capable of being one of a long term centre back pairing.

I have to admit I'm still unsure about Dominic. He's improved in difficult circumstances. but he is not a good finisher and needs to be more aggressive. Happy to keep an open mind. A good day for the club.

Jamie Evans
14 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:15:19
Gentleman, you are family. Give us everything and we will adore you in return. NSNO.
Dean Cooper
15 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:25:48
Agree with Bill (13). I have to say that the first game I saw Holgate play at centre-back this year, I thought he was awful. Nervous and made too many mistakes. Since then he hasn't looked out of place in the Premier League. A much better defender than Stones who we offloaded for £50M!
Raymond Fox
16 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:34:04
Wise moves on the clubs part. We have a nice problem when Coleman's fit; it'll be a shame for Kenny to be sat on the bench. I think Seamus might struggle to dislodge Kenny come the time.

I'd like Barkley put his John Hancock on a new contract; trouble is he will be able to command a bigger wage packet now This situation has been largely caused by that jerk Koeman, to add to his other many mess ups.

I actually think he will sign a new contract with the club; I hope he does.

Ian Linn
17 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:44:30
Very pleased... but whatever happened to Luke Garbutt? I though he showed similar promise to that of Holgate but then disappeared off the face of the earth.

I'm too lazy to surf the interweb to find out, can someone please enlighten me?

Tony Everan
18 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:49:45
I am delighted that all 3 have signed, they are good now and will,only improve. Everton is the best place for them.

Ross must be giving it some thought. If he wants out of Merseyside, why not just move to Cheshire?

Ian Burns
19 Posted 14/12/2017 at 19:52:49
Music to an old Evrrtonian's ears! A pat on the back also for Unsy and long may the supply line continue.
Darren Hind
20 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:05:32
Indeed Ian@21
Terry White
21 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:06:53
Ian (#19), if you were less lazy you would know that Garbutt has been playing for the U-23 team. He is ineligible to play for the first XI until after January 1.
Paul Holmes
22 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:24:04
Jonjoe Kenny will be great for us, a born winner from the area, Calvert-Lewin is still learning his trade but he is the fastest sprinter at the club, so maybe play him wide when we buy a centre forward.

Holgate has surprised me as I thought he was awful at centre back against Lyon at home (when he gave that penalty away early) but he has improved and the jury is still out imo if he can stay there. Tom Davies has gone backwards from last season but like Holgate he might improve.

Lookman is the one for me, he has everything and can score goals but he needs to get the physical side of his game sorted out, as he seems too nice and needs more of Jonjoe Kenny's temperament when he gets his chance.

Mark Riding
23 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:34:54
Has the snake Barkley signed a deal yet? Or are we getting him fit ready for his big move?
Jon Withey
24 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:39:12
Calvert-Lewin doing well in the most difficult position in the team - leading the line at 20 is both daft and great.

Kenny starting to impress especially against Liverpool.

Holgate maturing well at centre-back.

No-brainer to sign them up.

Hopefully the new coaching team can help develop Davies, Baningime, Lookman and Vlasic too – and it would be great to get Dowell and Onyekuru back.

We could do with an experienced striker, left back and centre back.

Some of the squad just aren't worth keeping – Mirallas, Besic – and some like Klaassen and Sandro you wonder what to do with them -– wait?

John Pierce
25 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:46:06
Extremely encouraging news.

Kenny has settled and is slowly adding the attacking component to his role we all know he's capable of.

Holgate like many players, benefiting from being played in his position and regularly.

Calvert-Lewin doing a job expected of a player more experienced than him.

Now I hope Allardyce backs this up with actions when he buys in January and keeps these three in the squad and team. This is a key element to me being more open to Sam.

Bill Gienapp
26 Posted 14/12/2017 at 20:58:20
Ian (#19) – he's had a bit of a rough go of it the past couple seasons, with several unsuccessful loan stints, but as Terry (23) noted, he's currently back with the U23 squad... and would probably be the logical choice to fill in for Baines at the moment, but unfortunately wasn't registered for the senior squad by Koeman. D'oh!
Paul Hughes
27 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:00:12
Excellent news, well done lads, keep the obvious improvement going!
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
28 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:25:32
As I said on another thread – will Seamus get his place back?

Sam could go for Seamus to play wide right – what is currently the Lennon role. More solid at the back; more likely to score;

Ian Bennett
29 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:28:19

Not bad!

Barry Williams
30 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:35:41
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts - 30

He played there not long after he first broke into the team I recall, just in-front of Hibbert.

Barry Pearce
31 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:39:54
Good on them, but would be really disappointed if Liam Walsh left the club.

Hope we could tie Dowell down to a longer contract as well.

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 14/12/2017 at 21:55:52
Ian (31), don't forget about Fraser Hornby, Feeney and the young 16-year-old, Anthony Gordon, who played a few minutes in the recent Europa League match – it seems like there is one born every minute at Finch Farm!
Christopher Nicholls
33 Posted 14/12/2017 at 22:15:11
John (#26) – 'both daft and great'! Couldn't agree more. Leading the line in a Premier League team at 20 is bonkers. Watching his movement and eagerness to make connections to midfield, chase balls and harry defenders is a breath of fresh air. The finishing will come.

All of these young guns at Everton play the game the way you hope they would; enthusiasm, adventure, technique, hard work and with a smile on their face. David Unsworth has done an excellent job of developing the Academy talent. In the words of the less than dearly departed... PHENOMENAL!

(Ducks for cover!)

James Marshall
34 Posted 14/12/2017 at 22:20:04
With regard to Holgate, I'd like to offer a nod to Ashley Williams for his recent displays – centre-backs need a partner, and without Williams I think Holgate would have struggled.

I know he's not a lot of people's cup of tea but I think Ashley Williams gives it all he's got in every game, and that's one thing Evertonians always look out for in my view.

Laurie Hartley
35 Posted 14/12/2017 at 22:43:06
Ian & Dave – don't forget Beni Baningime – 19 years old. I think there is more to come from that lad.
Jamie Crowley
36 Posted 14/12/2017 at 22:58:24
Mark Riding,

At the risk of being lacerated by your intelligence and wit, how in the hell is Barkley a "snake"??? Boy wanted more money and was being treated like shit by Koeman!

Good news on the hat-trick youth signings!

Bobby Thomas
37 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:25:15
I thought Big Sam's comments about Kenny were brilliant:

“Jonjoe's decision-making for such a young man is very impressive and part of the reason he makes the game look simple. He is also an excellent defender, very grounded as an individual and he has an innate desire to succeed. He's hungry and his choice of ball possession is first-class for a young man. He is an outstanding young man at full-back."

Frank Wade
38 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:25:51
Delighted to see these lads are wanted by our new manager. Remember Jonjoe was mostly ignored by Koeman, even with Seamus injured since March. I was very heartened by our new manager's quotes in the Official site.


“I've made the point before that Jonjoe's decision-making for such a young man is very impressive and part of the reason he makes the game look simple.

“He is also an excellent defender, very grounded as an individual and he has an innate desire to succeed. He's hungry and his choice of ball possession is first-class for a young man. He is an outstanding young man at full-back.

I am warming to Big Sam by the day. For the first time in a long while, I can understand the Everton manager's post match comments and feel we were watching the same game.

Like the others on this thread, who watch the U23s, I would be very disappointed were we to lose Liam Walsh. I hope the Bristol City interest is for a loan.

Frank Wade
39 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:28:28
Ooops! Bobby, great minds eh!
Brent Stephens
40 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:46:08
James (#36)

"I'd like to offer a nod to Ashley Williams for his recent displays – centre-backs need a partner, and without Williams I think Holgate would have struggled".

I agree, James. I also think it has something to do with one of them, Holgate, being comfortable on the ball, which Williams isn't (ditto Jags). So we don't get the ball being passed to and from Williams and Jags, as neither wants responsibility to move the ball on. So Williams, I guess, has more confidence in playing alongside Holgate in such situations.

Danny O'Neill
41 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:51:31
Finally we play Holgate in his position. It helps him to play alongside an experienced centre-back whilst under no circumstances should any combination of Jagielka, Williams or Keane play together in a slow and cumbersome back 2; no surprise to me that, since we've played Mason in there alongside one of them, we've improved.
Clive Mitchell
42 Posted 14/12/2017 at 23:58:50
Really good news.

James, 36 - good points well made. I'm one of those who thinks Williams one of the crudest top-flight centre-halves ever, but he is top-flight class because he defends like he means it and shows leadership. That must have been helping Holgate.

John Boon
43 Posted 14/12/2017 at 00:21:53
All of these young players have shown that they have the talent to succeed and, if they work hard, listen to wise advice, and keep both their minds and bodies in shape. This is very hard at that age when you can easily be influenced by the wrong type, or let your ego tell you that you have now made it and you can sit back and enjoy all the comforts that big money can bring.

Everton have a number of other good prospects: even Keane is only 24 and should be able to prove himself. Davies is another young player who appears to have lost his confidence just lately. Fans need to be delighted to have such good prospects, but they also need to accept times when they do not play well. That is when they need the "Blue" support the most.

It must be devastating for a young player to have forty thousand people jeering at you and writing in letters saying you were "crap". Most people in regular jobs have enough difficulty when their boss, just one person, tells them that they aren't working hard enough. Imagine if you had an entire factory or office screaming and swearing at you and telling you that you are crap and have no chance of ever being anything but useless. Those kids need you far more than you need them!!!

In time, they may unite to play like Man City are now. However, remember Man City fans have put up with far more rubbish and bad times than any Everton fan ever did. Unfortunately today, money, along with great coaching and patience, has provided them with a team that every football purist really admires even if you hate their guts.

I have seen my beloved Blues win the league and the Cup. I have also seen them relegated. Perhaps our time will come again... If so it would be really great to have our young, home grown players in that team. If so they will need your cheers and not your jeers.

Mark Riding
44 Posted 15/12/2017 at 01:35:29
Jamie Crowley (#38),

As for my wit? I suppose a lot must get lost in translation.

So I guess Ross Barkley not signing his new record-breaking wage structure Soccer Contract with the Everton blue franchise may annoy some Everton patrons?

Will Mabon
45 Posted 15/12/2017 at 06:44:57
Seems so, Derek, that Koeman wanted more of the utility type players. Maybe they suited what he wanted to do in his mind, or perhaps he knows he is unable to deal with the more skilful players, get the best from them. Water under the bridge, but something was certainly going on; you rarely see managers acting that way. I think he had an enormous ego and control-freak attitude, personally. Whatever the truth, his way doesn't work.
Les Martin
46 Posted 15/12/2017 at 08:40:32
They thoroughly deserve their new contracts and all 3 are exceptional. People sometimes forget their age but more importantly they are playing in the best league in the world against outstanding players.

Encouraging words from Sam too.

Lookman, Vlasic and Baningime are going to be outstanding too, the future is looking good.

Ajay Gopal
47 Posted 15/12/2017 at 09:06:25
John Boon (#43), hear, hear! Well put, Sir.
Trevor Peers
49 Posted 15/12/2017 at 10:49:39
Great news for the club and the lads themselves, who have all been excellent. Credit must go to Unsworth for prvoiding the encouragement and dedication to make this happen, well done David.
Gerry Quinn
50 Posted 15/12/2017 at 13:29:20
I'm beginning to warm towards Sam...

On the OS, he reckons Mason Holgate is too good looking to be a centre-half – to me, there speaks a man that appears to be very comfortable in his job...

Dave Abrahams
51 Posted 15/12/2017 at 14:04:53
Laurie (#35),

Yes sorry about Beni, blame Ian for that. I just thought automatically that Beni Baningime was on Ian's list!!!!

Jamie Crowley
52 Posted 15/12/2017 at 15:18:34
Mark Riding -

Calling a man by his last name only would be more of an "affectionate" greeting in the States. Not meant to be flippant but rather, over here, a greeting more of congeniality. And again, the "intelligence and wit" was a compliment – you're no dummy. As you say, lost in translation.

Points taken. I don't blame Ross a bit. I'd actually argue with Koeman at the helm he realized he was on the outs, and no amount of money mattered if he wasn't playing. I actually am hoping he signs.

Amit Vithlani
53 Posted 15/12/2017 at 15:22:14
Signing a contract is one thing, staying at the club when the Sky 6 come sniffing is another. We know that like Barkley, these lads will leave if they perceive that there are bigger stages out there.

The real task to keep a hold of Barkley and this trio is not just making them sign a paper which entitles us to a big fee if they leave, but making us a big enough stage for them to spend their best years with us.

So yes, good news we have locked in the rights to a fee but Mr Moshiri still needs to keep delivering the goods to ensure that our best talent remains at the club if they are good enough. That includes Ross Barkley.

Alex Bonnar
54 Posted 15/12/2017 at 15:50:32
Yes, it's great to see our younger players being rewarded. With the right support from management, older players and supporters we could be lifting silverware in the next few seasons.

A point about Tom Davies, who I think will be a tremendous asset in future. I'm not too concerned about his recent downturn – which can only be expected in a young player and was probably not helped by 3 different management teams within 6 months, all with different methods of dealing with tactics etc.

Finally, not quite on subject but has anybody else noticed the general improvement by contributors recently? Much less foul language and more thoughtful comments – still many different views, of course.

William Cartwright
55 Posted 15/12/2017 at 16:44:58
John Boon (#43); best post I've read for a long time...
Mark Hughes
56 Posted 15/12/2017 at 18:18:23
Well done for Kenny and Holgate... I'm still undecided on Calvert-Lewin.
Vijay Nair
57 Posted 16/12/2017 at 02:29:34
The future is bright, no question.

Hope to see Garbutt added to the senior squad come January.

I believe some of the dead weight in the squad needs to be offloaded as well, such as Mirallas, Schneiderlin, and (the injury prone) McCarthy. I haven't seen anything from Klaassen to see what he brings to the team either.

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