Everton have beat off the competition to land Lewis Gibson from Newcastle United.

Newcastle’s most highly rated teenager, it is a massive blow for Rafa Benitez to lose his best teenage prospect at the club.

Sunday morning has seen the Liverpool Echo break the news that Saturday saw Lewis Gibson agree personal terms and reach final agreement to move to Goodison Park.

The teenager turning down the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Southampton, with a transfer fee which could go higher than £6m if certain targets are met.

The Liverpool Echo say that a formal announcement of the 17 year’s signing could happen as early as today, once the medical and paperwork are completed.

Back in May (see below) it was revealed that Everton had made landing Lewis Gibson a top priority to join their ambitious planning to bring in top quality young players to go alongside the talent already at the club.

The Chronicle have confirmed today that with a move all but certain, the young defender hasn’t even trained with Newcastle since last season ended.

The lack of first team signings has been a major blow so far this summer for Newcastle fans and the sight of what supporters would see as one of their rivals, buying your top teenage prospect for the kind of figure you are paying out for senior players such as Atsu, Lejeune and Manquillo, is pretty hard to swallow.

The Mag – 3 May 2017:

The news from Merseyside is that Everton have made one of Newcastle’s rising young stars a top priority summer signing.

As well as major investment in established older players, the Toffees are also looking to further strengthen with younger players.

Their youth set-up has an outstanding record and Everton repeatedly give promising youngsters first team football at a young age.

Tom Davies was 17 when first playing Premier League football and still only 18, has made 21 PL appearances this season. Numerous others such as Mason Holegate and Ademola Lookman have been given first team football before reaching the age of 20.

The Liverpool Echo say that Ronald Koeman and his Director of Football Steve Walsh are looking at an ‘aggressive recruitment drive of players aged 16-18’ this summer and that Newcastle United’s Lewis Gibson ‘is a central part of his plans’.

Already getting rave reviews at Newcastle under first team level, Lewis Gibson turns 17 in July and has also been making waves in the England set-up.

He is currently away with the national side as England compete in the Under 17s European Championship Finals in Croatia, with group games against Holland, Ukraine and Norway starting tomorrow (Thursday).

Last month saw widespread reports that a number of clubs including Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs are also looking to bid for Lewis Gibson this summer.

March saw the young Newcastle defender score his first goal for England, the winner against Bosnia & Herzegovina in the final qualifying match for these European Championship Finals. He also played in the outstanding 8-1 win over Germany last year for the Young Lions.

The left-footed local lad is from Stanley and has followed older brother Liam into the Newcastle United set-up, though neither have appeared for the first team as yet.

Sibling Liam Gibson, who is also at Newcastle, turns 20 next month (April 2017) managed one Premier League appearance on the bench 13 months ago, when Steve McClaren had a number of defenders out through injury.

The youth set-up at Newcastle has been a massive disappointment down the years and it can’t all have been down to the quality of player at their disposal.

Fans have long expressed concern at the level of coaching below first team level and the inability to develop players, to improve them to a level where they can compete for the first team.

This hasn’t been helped by managers such as Alan Pardew, who failed to give real opportunities to younger players, tending only to give them games in the cup competitions which he and Mike Ashley were so keen to get out of at the earliest opportunity.

Rafa Benitez has been landed with an entire club to sort out from top to bottom and years and years of neglect were never going to be sorted overnight.

So you can sympathise with him going almost entirely for experienced players in this season’s vital quest for Premier League football at the earliest opportunity.

The fact remains though that young players at Newcastle will still see little chance of progressing, with once again only the cup matches having a few younger players given the odd game, in matches which Rafa clearly saw as an unnecessary distraction to the league campaign.

Lewis Gibson sees his older brother turn 20 in April without getting any kind of a chance and when you see 18 year olds at clubs like Everton getting a run of games, it emphasises how badly Newcastle have failed over the years.

The home game against Fulham saw 16 year old Ryan Sessegnon take Vurnon Anita and Newcastle to the cleaners with two excellent goals and a superb overall performance.

Rafa can’t let himself be distracted from the job in hand but if Newcastle are to convince the Lewis Gibsons that their future is at Newcastle United, then hopefully we will see youth given its chance in the coming seasons.

To lose such a promising player would be a body blow for Rafa Benitez but hopefully the likes of Lewis Gibson will be convinced that at last things are changing for the better at St James Park.

  • Desree

    Why do we never give these kids a chance. With the exception of Gazza we keep leeting talent slip through the net.

    • Leazes Ender

      Because the club is ameteur, and rotten, uncommunative and shadowy…..Ashley has taken us backwards by twenty years….staffed by the cheapest not the best.

      • Desree

        We sold gazza 30 years ago. Ashley has been here 10. Clarke and watson are the last decent players, maybe Carroll? 3 in 30 years is a disgrace. Not Ashleys doing really.

        • Leazes Ender

          Okay 40 years

    • Alex

      Because the club under Ashley is always on the edge. It’s either the edge of relegation where youngsters can’t be trusted, or the edge of promotion where mature heads count.

      Oh, for the mid-table mediocrity and stability of an Everton, where such pressures don’t exist and they can bring on youth with little risk.

  • Leazes Ender

    I think Charnley has had so many slaps in the face he must be looking like a little beetroot.

    I wish I could insert the cartoons again…. rats.

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Change is constant… but the management in running of Newcastle United is consistently inconsistent

    • Alex

      Hmmm…..I rather think the last ten years have been a model of consistency.

      • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

        Yes can’t agree more

  • Thefootballerwhocouldfly

    Meant to say the running of Newcastle is absolutely shambolic…..

  • Paul Patterson

    If Campbell can’t even get in the squad in the Championship then what hope does any young kid have at Newcastle?

    • Lhc


      • Paul Patterson

        Yeah, I typed Campbell by mistake.

        • Lhc

          What’s the point of a youth system then? If youth don’t get a fair chance? is that how you base it like if Armstrong can’t get into the squad even tho he hasn’t been given a fair chance then no youngster really has a chance?! Silly.

          • Paul Patterson

            I agree. They should be getting a chance. Given 20 minutes here and there at the end of matches we’re comfortable in. That’s what happens at well run clubs and may happen under Rafa once we are established back in the league. But we need to hit the ground running this season and at present we don’t look like doing even that.

    • Lhc

      Changed to Armstrong, but tbh armstrong hasn’t been given a chance. If you don’t give lads a chance then what’s he point of a youth system

    • Geordiegiants

      He obviously isn’t good enough, he had a season at Barnsley and never done much. The season before in a lower league, Coventry, he was at his level by the looks of things.

  • steve

    No big loss, Rafa would never have played him anyway.

    • Lhc

      Your joking aren’t you, you know nothing about football with comments like that! Your one of the stiffy brigade for Rafa

      • steve

        Rafa is notorious for not giving youth players a chance, that would constitute taking a risk which is something he doesn’t do.

        • Geordiegiants


          • steve

            When did he come through the academy?

          • Geordiegiants

            There is no mention of academy in our discussion. You said youth.

          • steve

            Buying a player with a significant amount of first team experience is not taking a chance on a youth player.
            A year in the championship was a chance to give players like Armstrong, Sterry and Mbabu a chance but instead we brought in no risk journeymen like Murphy and Hanley.

          • Geordiegiants

            Yeah and JACOB Murphy, was on loan with Armstrong at Coventry the season before last, then played a few games last season for Norwich. LASCELLES had played for Forest youth set up, with DARLOW then played a few lower league games, and gave them a chance. Where in all of that does he not give youth a chance? Who gave Hayden, the Arsenal youth player a chance? If he see’s a player good enough he gives them a chance, it pure sh’te he doesn’t give youth a chance. He doesn’t play anyone from our reserves because they are all sh’te.

          • steve

            Yes Murphy was on loan with Armstrong, the difference is that last year he played 37 championship games instead of being loaned out again. Lascelles had played over 50 championship games and Darlow over 100 when they joined us. Hayden was the only player 21 or under who started a single game for us last season, Rafa does not give youth a chance and hasn’t throughout his career with very few exceptions.

          • Geordiegiants

            So we will say none of our players apart from Hayden are youth players. Murphy playing 37 games of a half decent standard in his whole entire career doesn’t go along with taking a chance on youth. So does that mean he is a well established player? If not what is he?

          • steve

            To me signing a 22 year old England under 21 international with over 100 first team appearances is not taking a chance on youth, at the start of last season Armstrong was a 19 year old academy graduate, so yes playing him would have been taking a chance on a youth player.

  • Mrkgw

    No guarantee the player will make the grade but, our club is a shambles and run on a shoestring. No major signings anymore and at this rate, we are near relegation certainties. Ashley out!

    • funlovingexpress


      • Mrkgw

        Lets hope that fair play comes into things and that so called lesser clubs in terms of size come a cropper. Nothing fair about things at the moment and football is in near meltdown.

      • Leicester Mag

        Fat fooka penny pinching?

  • blueboys123

    Please put the date on your Article,you have May the 3rd half way through ,but nothing at the top.

  • Wor Lass

    It`s always a shame to lose talent – especially local lads – and Rafa will be disappointed. There are signs that youngsters may start coming through under Rafa but they are still few and far between. The thing is, though, that this lad wanted to leave and, allegedly, had no particular affinity for nufc. It would be interesting to know why he wanted to go – was it more to do with the ambition of the club, his prospects of progressing through the ranks or money? Don`t forget that he`d already left one academy to come to us. There`s no guarantee that he`ll make the grade either. I remember a West Denton lad called Shaun Murray being touted during the mid 80`s as the best schoolboy prospect in the NE since Bobby Charlton. As soon as he was old enough to sign up he turned his back on us and went to Spurs who, allegedly, had offered his family all sorts of financial inducements. He didn`t make it at Spurs and ended up a journeyman in the lower leagues if I remember correctly. I`m not saying that`s what will happen to this kid but the story`s nothing new.

    • Down Under Mag

      We need to start and get better loan moves for the players we send out and show that there is a progression to first team there for them. Dummet, Taylor, Carrol…we’ve had players come through but far too many others not given a chance and not loaned out to high enough teams to actually progress. Needs to be looked at ASAP.

  • mentalman

    Again its all the current owners fault, he bought a club whose owners scrapped the youth and reserve system and hadnt invested in the youth system for years. I’d argue our youth system has been more successful under the current ownership than the previous

  • Leicester Mag

    To the most telling line in the article is the line drawing attention to the fact that the fee mentioned is the amount we pay for senior players. Aye and is it any wonder when we keep packing the squad with s hite we cant then sell ? Dead wood has no value however cheap it was. Chronic says no player bigger than the club. How I wish this was true sadly the club itself gets smaller and smaller in real terms under Ashley so much the only half decent youngster sees no future before playing a senior game. Pathetic.

  • Rich Lawson

    It’s a blow,but isn’t this kid almost out of contract anyway ? Hard to see him turning down an Everton team who have a history of giving youth it’s chance and from their current spending are going to have a right go at the top 4 this season ?

    • Down Under Mag

      Absolutely – they are looking like they are going places, have a track record of giving youth a chance and just a better progression setup. Should be setting off alarm bells…this needs to be the LAST player opting for someone else than stay here to progress!

  • TheFatController

    why haven’t Spurs, Man City or Soton just made bigger bids ?

    • Paul Smith

      Because it’s not up to us to accept a bid. It’s up to the player to choose whatever team he wants to join due to his age / contract situation. The fee will be set by a third party.

  • funlovingexpress

    Couldnt get that off Dummett and hes a full international with loads of premiership experience.

    The worlds gone mad

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    how many of our 1st team squad would fetch in £6m
    we can now buy Clucas 3 goals 1 assist last season 😂😂😂
    great supporting the Toon, isn’t it

    Viva La Rafaluion

    • Lhc

      ‘Hear Hear’!!

  • Mayor Vaughn

    Not really

    • Paul Smith

      Not if like many youngsters we never hear from him again.. but if he turns out to be a first teamer for them like many of their other youngsters or goes on to represent England it will be.

  • Blackburn1066

    We have to sell the young players to keep the club going, the fat Bas—d up stairs running his shops on a shoe string holds the cash. Fat T–at. I hate him our club is a mess, second class he has taken us to this level The Fat C–nt.

  • Oooh bobbi fleckman

    I was looking forward to this lad getting into the first team, giving it his all and then being mocked by the Mag for getting injuries and ultimately finding himself playing football at a lower level.