After switching to Fleetwood Town in January on loan in a bid to gain more playing time, young Everton defender Lewis Gibson has since gone on to attract many plaudits, with this piece from the Liverpool Echo hinting that he is ‘proving Brands right‘ while ‘thriving‘ on his travels.
Since Gibson’s arrival at Highbury Stadium, the Englishman has won all four of the games games that he has played for Joey Barton’s side, helping the Cod Army to climb within two points of a play-off place in League One.
Indeed, Fleetwood have racked up a course of narrow wins over February, beating each of Doncaster Rovers, AFC Wimbledon, Wycombe Wanderers and Peterborough United by just one goal. These hard-fought wins perhaps highlight that defensive solidarity has been a key component to their fine form, with loanee teenager Gibson at the heart of it all.
Gibson, starting each of those four contests under Barton, has reigned victorious in 73% of his ground duels whilst taking 41 touches per game on average (SofaScore), with the manager hailing his ‘outstanding‘ heroics against AFC Wimbledon in particular. Speaking to Fleetwood Town’s official website, the former Manchester City midfielder had nothing but praise for his defender after that game, drawing particular emphasis on his ability to deal with balls down the channel.
“Lewis (Gibson) only played his second ever league game and a lot of balls came down his channel, which he dealt with.
“He was outstanding and got better and better as the game went on,” said Barton.
The 19-year-old centre-half appears to have a bright future ahead of him, playing alongside the likes of Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi during England under-17s’ World Cup win back in 2017. If the teenager keeps playing like he is now for Fleetwood, perhaps there’s a chance for him to climb up the ranks at Goodison Park and into Carlo Ancelotti’s starting XI at some point in the near future.
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