Eli Campbell has been making impressive progress at the Everton Academy teams and has been rewarded with a 3-year professional deal for the 17-year-old.
Campbell, who joined the Academy at age 13, was playing as captain of the Under-18s at the start of last season but was promoted to the Under-23s for most of the season.
He is now looking to play a big role at centre-back or left-back with the revamped Under-21s as they embark on a new season in Premier League 2.
“The target this season is to keep performing for the Under-21s and to get more chances in the First Team. I have a very good relationship with [Under-21s Head Coach] Paul Tait, having worked with him for 2 years with the Under-18s.
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“I know what he wants from me, and he knows what I can give him and what I need to improve on so I'm looking forward to working with him again.”
Reader Comments (23)
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1 Posted 28/06/2022 at 14:49:30
2 Posted 28/06/2022 at 14:52:57
3 Posted 28/06/2022 at 15:05:34
4 Posted 28/06/2022 at 16:32:22
We've had a few false dawns at full-back recently and maybe this lad has what it takes.
One thing for certain is that we will have to look to develop talent as much as possible as we aren't competing in the same transfer pool as the big boys at the moment.
5 Posted 28/06/2022 at 19:23:15
I don't want to sound pedantic but he was 17 last August. I say that because I suspect he was offered a contract then, maybe it was 3 years, but because they go to the end of June, 3 years then would have ended in June 2024. I'm thinking he declined until now, got his 3 years and it's now until 2025.
He's certainly been the exception in that all his peers accepted a pro contract not long after their 17th birthday, apart from Matt Mallon who was only offered one recently.
It's just me surmising, no proof, but these days our really talented youngsters get a guarantee that they'll be offered a pro contract when they sign up for a Scholarship at 16.
6 Posted 28/06/2022 at 19:31:15
7 Posted 28/06/2022 at 19:41:15
He looked surprisingly good as a wing-back, showed a lot of skill, but doesn't have the outright pace to become one though.
I think he'll continue growing/ bulk up and will be a centre-back or full back. He's ticking all the boxes so far: playing up an age group, played for England youth, has the physical size to make it.
If Branthwaite goes on loan, then Campbell would likely step up to more first team squad training. He's got a wee bit to go though to make a match day squad, but that's what we've got coaches for, to develop our youngsters.
8 Posted 28/06/2022 at 19:57:41
9 Posted 28/06/2022 at 20:10:31
I suppose it's just the way things are now because you don't even have to reach your full potential to get rich out of football nowadays.
10 Posted 28/06/2022 at 20:17:46
11 Posted 28/06/2022 at 20:22:52
It seems they can't sign young foreign players under 18 anymore... don't know if it applies to foreign clubs signing our players, I imagine it does.
12 Posted 28/06/2022 at 20:50:39
13 Posted 28/06/2022 at 21:10:08
Starting from next season, Everton will have three main teams: The first team, The Under-21s (instead of the Under-23s), and The Under-18s who compete in The FA Youth Cup as well as in their own league.
I think they also have an Under-16s team and younger teams at various younger ages through the Academy.
A bit different from us watching years ago: The first team, The Reserves then A, B and C teams.
14 Posted 28/06/2022 at 21:28:54
Mike (3) - I like what I have seen thus far, but it is still very early days. Composed in possession, relatively quick (he has a slightly rangy running style that reminds me of the Belgian Moussa Dembele), good positionally (particularly in terms of being aware of runners in behind) and not afraid of the physical side of the game. He strikes me as someone who is focused, hard-working and versatile, and Might just have the right temperament to step up to first team training straight away.
Put it this way, losing Thierry Small was a blow, but Elijah Campbell and Ishe Samuels-Smith do soften that blow considerably. From what I have seen of Samuels-Smith - and this is premature and probably reckless - I reckon he has a decent chance of becoming a permanent member of the first team squad before he turns 18. Hes a natural.
15 Posted 28/06/2022 at 21:31:46
I believe both Kristensen and Hagan were let go this month.
16 Posted 28/06/2022 at 21:49:36
There are however rumours that he wasnt going to sign a Scholarship form with us. Hes the one Ill be looking out for when we release the names of the new Scholars, along with Emilio Lawrence, another whos been mentioned as not signing a Scholarship.
If hes here, I too can see us fast tracking him into our first team squad, and avoid a Thierry Small type situation occurring this time next year as he approaches 17.
17 Posted 28/06/2022 at 21:51:10
18 Posted 28/06/2022 at 21:51:58
19 Posted 28/06/2022 at 22:06:53
Phill (16) - I guess it is always a bit touch and go when it comes to securing the top young prospects to professional terms, but losing Samuels-Smith would be disastrous. Im not as aware as you are about Emilio Lawrence, but I hope to catch more of him this season (hopefully in the blue of Everton!)
20 Posted 29/06/2022 at 02:57:54
Next time I'm over, maybe we can attend a U-21 or U-18 game together.
21 Posted 29/06/2022 at 06:33:00
Trust Thelwell has established a Pay Structure for those who have yet debuted for First Team, and Eli should be on decent wages that are affordable by Football League Clubs when he is loaned out eventually.
It is up to Tait now to coach him at U21 properly and as stipulated by the philosophies ("policies" might be a more appropirate word) set forth by Thelwell, Prosser & Co.
22 Posted 29/06/2022 at 07:59:55
One point I picked out of the introductory commentary is that he can play centre back or left back.
Is that in tune with an intent to develop as system of playing 3 at the back with players who can play as part of a 3 or fit in as left back or wing back as required?
I think Godfrey fits that bill too. A centre back, but can play as left back, right back or a more defensive wing back rather than a rampaging, attacking one that would make it more of a back 5. But he can work on the flanks as well as in the centre.
Maybe the management and coaching team are finally looking at implementing a playing strategy and system?
He's only 17. Let's hope he develops. Good luck son.
23 Posted 30/06/2022 at 07:18:28
Still rather confusing. Does this mean older players of say 20 years can play for the U21, as they must be the Reserve Team? Why can't they call it the way it was?
My Dad played for the Club's A Team in the 1920s when he was a teenager.
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