A report by Daily Mail journalist, Craig Hope, alongside the list of Academy players submitted to the Premier League this week, confirms that Everton have signed Sunderland youngster Francis Okoronkwo over the summer.
The 16-year-old, who featured 17 times for Sunderland's U18 side during the U18 Premier League last season, including one game where Sunderland edged Everton in the best of seven goals, was linked with the Toffees back in July when it was suggested a deal was imminent.
It appears as though he has indeed been picked up by Everton for a reported £1m.
Okoronkwo's name was included on the list of 59 U21 players Everton submitted to the Premier League last week but the club had made no official announcement of the acquisition.
Updated Okoronkwo was eventually unveiled officially by the club, however, on 20 September when it was announced that he would join Everton's U18s squad. This was just after his 17th birthday, and the club confirmed that he had signed a 3-year professional contract, with no mention of the fee paid to Sunderland.
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Reader Comments (18)
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1 Posted 14/09/2021 at 12:17:03
2 Posted 14/09/2021 at 13:39:44
3 Posted 14/09/2021 at 14:57:21
But then it turned out to be Duncan saying we expected to sign nae more.
4 Posted 14/09/2021 at 15:21:46
5 Posted 15/09/2021 at 01:44:33
I'm not sure I like the idea of Premier League sides 'stealing' Academy players from other clubs. It all seems a bit unsavoury.
6 Posted 15/09/2021 at 10:59:24
Let's hope Okoronkwo finds a viable route to the 1st team and doesn't end up as loan-out fodder, as so many of them do.
7 Posted 15/09/2021 at 15:25:52
We should buy:
1. The best <21 youngsters making regular appearances in Europes main leagues, in the £10-20M bracket, £30-50k wages. Like Leicester have done this year. Dont say they wont come because they will if we pay the top wages. Unlike the late 20s/early 30s journeymen we have been paying mega money to, these players have sell on value once they have performed in the Premier League and are saleable.
2. The odd 22-27 year old ‘unicorn match winner who is prepared to come to us from a lesser premier league team to improve themselves or because they are a South American mercenary, for >£50M. Think Richarlison, Zaha (two years ago) etc.
3. Bosmans, free transfers and contract rebels of any age, with no initial outlay and short contracts to make up the squad.
AND NO ONE ELSE.
We train these U21s and release them after 3 years wasting £1-3m fees and our time and resources in the process.. Chelseas model is better, buy the best youngsters and loan them out around Europe.. why waste resources on feeding them reserve team football only so they can stagnate?! ‘Ooh but what about Rhino? Hes a good lad and hes true blue..
8 Posted 15/09/2021 at 15:28:53
9 Posted 15/09/2021 at 18:36:18
Many promising young players have come and gone, never looking like they were going to break into the first team, and some even being returned from loans because they were not good enough.
Its no good scouting around for the best youngsters unless we can bring them up to the next level and create opportunities for them in the first team squad.
Many of our coaches are here only because they are ex players first and coaches second. We need to start by getting in the best scouting system, together with the best coaches and then bring in the kids.
At the moment we are way behind most other teams and probably getting worse.
10 Posted 15/09/2021 at 20:42:18
How hes gonna be developed and Im sensing he will be u18s and U23s, will be interesting.
David Unsworth surely will have a plan. ?
11 Posted 15/09/2021 at 21:21:39
Tried and tested plan. Bring them in, let them stagnate until they're married with kids then they get to have coffee with Brands, partake in a token first team training match, then we release them to lower division clubs.
12 Posted 15/09/2021 at 21:30:39
However we got Stones, Holgate, and DCL in similar manner. While we got another 10-20 who didn't make it, we got 50 million for Stones, would probably get 10+ for Holgate if we sold, and could possibly get 80+ for DCL.
That's really not a bad record and worth signing the occasional youngster who stays for 5 years and doesn't make the grade.
13 Posted 15/09/2021 at 21:39:51
Once pretty much any u21 player has about 10 or so premier league games under his belt he's worth £10m or possibly much more.
The RS buys and sells such players like commodities too, using the u23s and the loan system to increase their value before flogging them on for profit (like Camacho and Ki Jana Hoever), helping them reinvest within FFP / premier league rules.
Looking forward to seeing him play and hopefully develop into a really good player.
14 Posted 16/09/2021 at 15:14:36
15 Posted 17/09/2021 at 11:20:07
16 Posted 20/09/2021 at 21:27:11
17 Posted 21/09/2021 at 10:18:01
This is what Sunderland Sporting Director, Kristjaan Speakman, said of their disappointment at losing such a talent:
“We are disappointed that Francis and his family took the decision to leave the football club earlier this summer, as we demonstrated a clear pathway for him to continue his development into the first-team environment.
“Throughout the summer, we have displayed our ability to retain and attract young talent and we have started to honour our long-term commitment that our homegrown players will be integral to our philosophy and future success.
“Although we are disappointed Francis will not be a part of that process, we wish him and his family well. All at SAFC wish Francis the very best of luck for the future.”
Sounds like an instant replay! Tends to reinforce Tony's oft-repeated point of how cut-throat and ruthless the world of Academy football can be.
And just amazing the sheer wisdom and prescience being offered by some of the 'smarter' minds of the ToffeeWeb collective. [Not!] You probably know who you are...
Can't we wait and see how the lad steps up to the plate rather than post this ridiculous bile?
18 Posted 21/09/2021 at 11:55:27
It's a shame that Brexit / work permits prevented us from getting the kid from Alkmaar on deadline day too.
We need more of these.
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