According to quotes published by the Blackpool Gazette, Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has heaped praise on Everton defender Lewis Gibson following his debut against Doncaster Rovers last Saturday – with the League One boss hailing him as ‘the real deal‘.
Gibson, who played the full 90 minutes alongside Harry Souttar in the heart of Fleetwood’s defence, impressed Barton by handling his loan debut ‘superbly‘ – winning over half of his aerial duels and battles on the ground according to SofaScore. Indeed, the 19-year-old’s solidity in Fleetwood’s back five has earned huge praise from the manager, with Barton thinking he will ‘really come on‘ from his first senior outing for the Fishermen.
The teenager has made 38 appearances overall for Everton’s U23s (Transfermarkt) since signing from Newcastle United’s academy back in 2017. Previously hailed as a ‘wonderkid‘ by Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder, Gibson’s impressive CV also includes being part of England’s Under-17 World Cup triumph two and a half years ago – playing alongside the likes of Premier League regulars Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
“We’ve been tracking Lewis Gibson for a large period because we’ve been looking for a left-footed centre-half,” explained Barton to The Gazette.
“Callum Connolly came in and did a shift for us on the left and did the basics superbly, but we’ve moved him over to his natural side, which releases Coyley (Lewie Coyle) and Wes Burns and allows us to press with a sort of front three. Lewis Gibson looked the real deal and handled it superbly, and he’ll come on so much for that.”
If the Englishman continues to impress on loan, it could signal the rise of a potential knock on the door for Everton’s first team in future. While results have improved under Carlo Ancelotti, the likes of Michael Keane have been criticised this season (by Alan Shearer in The Sun) and, having conceded 37 league goals this season, it’s not as if their defenders have been covering themselves in glory.
With that in mind, if he can impress elsewhere, perhaps the future could be bright.
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