Lewis Gibson says Everton’s clear plan for his development and the Club’s exciting vision for the future was instrumental in his decision to sign a new contract with the Blues until the end of June 2022.
Centre-back Gibson has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal and immediately joined League One side Fleetwood Town on loan for the remainder of the campaign.
The 19-year-old signed for the Toffees from Newcastle United in 2017 and established himself as a key figure in Everton’s Under-23s side. He was part of the team that won an unprecedented Premier League 2 and Premier League Cup double last season.
Gibson credited Under-23s boss David Unsworth for encouraging his significant progress since moving to Merseyside.
The England Under-20 international also highlighted Director of Football Marcel Brands’ influence in setting out the Club’s blueprint for his development.
“I’ve had a few conversations with Marcel over the past few months and the chats went well,” Gibson told evertontv.
“He explained his plans for me and plans for the Club and they excited me so I couldn’t wait to sign.
“I feel I’ve developed massively since I joined the Club.
“David Unsworth’s been big for me. He’s taught me things that I wouldn’t have got at other clubs.
“He knows my ability and he puts trust in my ability. He pushes me to be better and I thank him for that.
“I’ve developed physically since I’ve been here. And, although I’ve had some bad luck with a couple of injuries, I’ve come through them and feel I’m more mentally strong and a better player.”
Gibson has regularly trained with the Everton first team this season and detailed how competing alongside experienced international players has provided a valuable learning curve.
“Training with them has been massive,” he added.
“Every single player is hugely talented.
“All the lads are great with me, and to play and learn from their styles of play has been brilliant.”
Gibson joins a Fleetwood side currently sitting 11th in League One, just six points behind the play-off positions.
He will link up with another Everton loanee at Highbury Stadium in midfielder Callum Connolly.
The centre-back is confident performing at senior level can help him elevate his performances to new heights.
“I can get vital experience, I think that’s what I’m missing at the moment,” said Gibson.
“I want to go there and play as much as I can.
“I’ve got Callum Connolly there and Billy (Crellin) from England, who is one of my best mates, so I’ll easily settle in and I can’t wait to get started.
“And, of course, my goal is then to come back here and become an Everton first-team player.”