This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
It’s never easy for a young player in pre-season to make an impression.
Thrown in amongst the established senior stars, it takes a lot to stand out and make a name for yourself, but that’s what Everton’s Lewis Gibson is starting to do.
It has been even harder than it should usually be for a 19-year-old to progress to the senior set-up at Goodison Park, after a number of serious injuries hampered Gibson’s development.
Additionally, the added pressure of a price tag in excess of £6m having signed from Newcastle may have made life harder.
However, if Gibson’s performances in pre-season this summer are anything to go by then the Toffees could have a player on their hands.
Specifically, his last outing against Mainz was particularly impressive and serves to suggest that the teenager could be of benefit to the first-team in 2019/20.
Courtesy of Wyscout, the young defender showed his ability with the ball at his feet by completing 98% of his passes in a 60-minute spell against the German side.
Check out some amazing tekkers in the video below…
In addition to that, he didn’t commit a single foul, made eight recoveries, one clearance, one interception and won one aerial duel.
Most impressively, he also found the back of the net with a sweet volley to score his first senior goal for the club.
As of now, the Merseysiders have just Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as recognised centre-backs with just 10 days until the season kicks off after Kurt Zouma and Phil Jagielka departed the club – Mason Holgate can also fill in if need be.
Going into a fresh campaign with just two centre-backs really isn’t a great position to be in, but as a direct consequence of that lack of depth, Gibson could well find himself involved in first-team affairs at points next season.
He’s done plenty in pre-season to suggest he is capable, and also has a decent case after featuring for the Under-23 side’s Premier League 2 and Premier League cup double last term.
Of course, friendlies and U23s football are far different to senior, competitive action, but Gibson is showing signs that he deserves the chance and amid the current crisis of depth, the timing is right for Marco Silva to give it to him.