If reports are to be believed, Merseyside club Everton are en route to highjack the deal of Newcastle United’s teen sensation Lewis Gibson from under the nose of North London giants Tottenham Hotspur. The immensely talented centre half has been one of the best players to come up from the Magpies Academy with the English football system rating him very highly.
It would definitely be a huge blow for Newcastle but their focus towards building a side that could compete in the Premier League and more importantly stay in top-flight football clearly overshadows their youth policies at the moment. At just 17, Gibson has turned many heads at the academy level with previous reports also claiming that Arsenal and Manchester United were interested in him.
However, Everton have been a model for others to follow this summer given their keen attention towards getting on potential youngsters apart from the star-studded arrivals the senior side has seen. Everton’s under age side has seen the likes of Nathangelo Markelo, Josh Bowler and Boris Mathis joining them and apparently, Gibson is on the verge of joining them for £6 million.
Although Newcastle are yet to go public to communicate this decision, the 17-year-old has been missing from the squad’s training since May now and it is believed that the player’s fate is decided. Tottenham would also be ruing their chances if this report turns out to be true. The young centre-half could have been the perfect long-term solution for their skipper Jan Vertonghen, who enters the wrong side of 30 next season.
Gibson is likely to take up his place in the Everton Under-23 side. Ronald Koeman should be credited for giving chance to some unknown names last seasons like Tom Davies and Mason Holgate. And it made it all the easier for Everton to lure Gibson. The Toffees have grand plans of getting in players within the age bracket of 16-18 in the aggressive recruitment drive this summer, and they have been successful so far in executing it.
Gibson didn’t see much of Under-23 chances last season playing mostly for the Under-18, even though Premier League scouts had been keen to take him up. He played a crucial role in England’s qualifying game against Bosnia & Herzegovina back in March and was also a part of England’s famous 8-1 drubbing of Germany.
He is undoubtedly a great talent for the future and it is up to both the clubs to finalise Gibson’s compensation fee before the Court of Arbitration for Sport gets to determine his value.