U18s player Imam Jagne terminates his contract

24/10/2022 19comments  |  Jump to last

U18s player Imam Jagne has terminated his contract with the club, stating that he felt he was no longer developing as a footballer. 

The midfielder was born in Gambia and joined Everton in 2020, signing from the Swedish side, BK Hecken Gothenburg for a price believed to be about £1.35 million, a relatively large fee for a player that had just turned 17 and made only one appearance for his club off the bench.

After being tried out initially with the Under-23s, he was soon dropped down to the Under-18s where he would go on to make a number of appearances in the last two seasons, but has made no appearances this season. 

“I felt that I stopped developing,” explains Jagne, who terminated his contract with a year remaining. “I simply needed to come home and enjoy football again. When it gets to the point where it’s no longer fun, then there’s no point in continuing. 

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“I got quite a lot of playing time in the U18s. I played almost every game and it felt good. (But) I also feel that I need to take the step into senior football. I feel there is no point in staying (at Everton) if I can’t get it.  

“(Leaving) was a joint decision. We negotiated a bit and, in the end, we agreed. It felt good for all parties. They were really kind and saw it from my perspective, which was that I wanted to develop and play senior football. They were very supportive.”

Now 19, he has gone back in Sweden and is training with the BK Hecken Gothenburg first team.


Reader Comments (19)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 24/10/2022 at 14:49:32
Well that was a waste of £1.35 million.
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 24/10/2022 at 15:01:54
Michael, can you tell us anything about this lad's performances for the Blues?

I can't recall any of his games for Everton.

Also the transfer fee, surely there would have been a big spread about this for a player nobody seems to know of?

Gary Johnson
3 Posted 24/10/2022 at 15:03:25
Got to look at bigger picture, Paul.

If 20 x £1.3M promising youngster buys = £27M

If 2 go on to £15M each = profit
If 1 goes onto Gordon level = massive profit, etc.

As any investor knows, speculate to accumulate. Much better option than paying £20-30M for a single average player like we have done for last 6 years.

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 24/10/2022 at 15:16:15
Hasn't Jonjoe Kenny saying something similar been reported on BBC Gossip column?
Michael Kenrick
5 Posted 24/10/2022 at 15:31:51
I think the strangest thing about this one, Dave, was him being plunged straight into the U23s back in 2020.

They realised the mistake and knocked him down to the U18s after a handful of games, despite the usual bluster from Unsworth that he was going to be huge.

Barry McNally
6 Posted 24/10/2022 at 15:35:16
Anyone have an idea of his weekly wage?
Paul Kossoff
7 Posted 24/10/2022 at 15:58:44
No sell on fee negotiated then? Does he pay back the cost to Everton, thankless I would say. Didn't Kenny do the same? Nice earner for them then.
Michael Kenrick
8 Posted 24/10/2022 at 16:24:43
Not sure about the "big spread", Dave.

This is how we reported his signing 2 years ago:

Everton sign Swedish youngster

Seems like a serious misjudgement in terms of scouting, as it is really odd for such a young player to go straight into the U23s, only for him to be then knocked back, never to reach that level again with us. Very odd.

The kid obviously feels he needs first-team football, and that Everton can't provide it, which for me is code that his standard is well below what was expected of him.

Michael Kenrick
9 Posted 24/10/2022 at 16:28:50
Alan & Paul,

I think Jonjoe Kenny knew that displacing Seamus Coleman was a tall order, and when the club signed Nathan Patterson, well, the writing was writ large upon the wall.

There's a huge difference in that Kenny was offered a new contract but turned it down for happier hunting grounds in the Bundesliga. So no parallels here for me.

Michael Kenrick
10 Posted 24/10/2022 at 16:47:16
After a bit more rooting around, seems I completely missed this one last week!

Player reveals he left Everton to ‘enjoy football again' – Praises Toffees for being ‘supportive' in negotiations

This links back to an original story in Swedish, but it does appear that he left Everton "in the summer". Dave, it seems not even GOT had word that he'd left before this story broke.

Michael Kenrick
11 Posted 24/10/2022 at 17:01:54
Barry @6,

This may give his wages while at Everton:

Imam Jagne - Salary & Contract

Barry McNally
12 Posted 24/10/2022 at 18:01:02
Thanks Michael - probably gave him £30k to tear up the contract.
Phill Thompson
13 Posted 24/10/2022 at 19:13:34
Yeah this came out last week, seems like an amicable parting, we likely lost out but did the right thing. When he signed I'm sure his family or part of it came over with him. He really was unremarkable for us.

I remember seeing bits of his play when we thrust him immediately into the U23s, quickly realised he wasn't up to it, dropped him down and before long he was on the bench for the U18s.

We got this completely wrong and smacks of poor scouting, I'm all for taking a chance on youngsters from other clubs/ countries but Jagne never came close to doing anything with us.

Dupont Koo
14 Posted 25/10/2022 at 02:18:36
It appeared that Jagne got into a perfect storm:

1) Marcel Brands's team bought him in 2020.

2) Brands force-fed him into the U23s as part of his plan to fast-track youngsters through the age groups.

3) Like a lot of other "mis-handled" or "over-hyped" prospects through Unsworth's conveyor belts, Jagne got a culture shock (to say the very least) and wasn't properly looked after by Unsworth (as part of the, what we now know, usual "Up Yours" compromise shown by Unsworth towards Brands).

4) Benitez didn't bother to look at the U23s, let alone the U18s, to where Jagne got relegated. So, another lack of support for him within the club.

5) The dominoes started falling one by one since this time last year: Brands, Benitez, Unsworth.

6) Thelwell came in afterwards and might have tried doing the damage control (just imagine how much was on his plate since he joined Everton in February), but it was too little, too late: Jagne would have got depression if he's staying around Finch Farm any longer!

I was sent to a Boarding School in Canada from Hong Kong a year before my O-Levels, so I fully feel what Jagne went through at a similar age (his experience was a hell of a lot worse than mine) and have all the sympathies for him.

IMHO, Everton Football Club failed him (cue the scene Sir Michael Caine crying in front of the Wayne tombstones in "The Dark Knight Rises").

Fingers crossed that Jagne can finally re-launch his life and career back home with all his family and support system around him.

Stu Darlington
15 Posted 25/10/2022 at 09:53:37
Can't say I'm surprised.

Spotting potential young talent at an early age is very much a crystal ball operation in my opinion. For every kid who makes the grade, literally hundreds don't and have to be released early with all the heartbreak that entails.

Professional football at top level is a cruel and ruthless game, but the potential rewards for the successful few keep feeding the machine.

Derek Thomas
16 Posted 25/10/2022 at 11:19:54
Fairplay to him, he wasn't enjoying it @ £1,100 a week, so he binned it off... probably best for both parties.
Robert Tressell
17 Posted 25/10/2022 at 12:21:19

I think you nailed it. Add to that the issues he will have experienced with lockdown and pandemic disruption. He was being touted around Europe when we bought him.

It wasn't poor scouting, he had all the right raw materials. Sometimes it's bad luck or circumstance. We won't win with all of these speculative signings (they are still just boys after all), and we don't need to. But every time it does work out is a huge plus for the club.

Phill Thompson
18 Posted 25/10/2022 at 18:44:25

Sorry I can't say I ever saw anything of him suggesting “he had all the right materials” when he featured for us. Even players who didn't get very far but did well after we'd let them go showed something with us, Shayne Lavery for example.

Good luck to Jagne; for me, he just wasn't good enough.

Robert Tressell
19 Posted 25/10/2022 at 21:26:15
Phill, in Sweden he did. Quite right he never showed anything here but that might well be for reasons Dupont says. In Sweden he had looked very good getting first team football at 16 - hence scouts / clubs around Europe and the Prem were showing interest.

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