Talented Defender Signs Pro Deal

Everton Under-21s defender Elijah Campbell has signed his first professional contract, penning a three-year deal with the Club until the end of June 2025.

The highly-rated 17-year-old defender joined Everton Academy aged 13 and has been rewarded for his progress through the age groups as well as training with the First Team last season.

Campbell was captain for Everton Under-18s during the early part of the 2021/22 campaign, before his impressive displays saw him promoted to the Under-21s, making 16 appearances in Premier League 2.

The Manchester-born teenager, who is capable of playing at centre-half or left-back, is now eager to keep on catching the eye heading into the new season.

Campbell said: “I’m really happy with this new contract and I want to take this chance to kick on with Everton.

“This club means a lot to me. It’s where I started my career, it feels like home, and during my time here I think I’ve really progressed.

“Last season was a positive one for me as I stepped up to the Under-21s and, towards the end of the campaign, was training with the First Team and travelled with them on matchdays, too.

“That helped me progress as a player. It was a real test coming up against so many talented forwards. They make you think faster and helps you improve both physically and mentally.

“Getting the chance to work alongside a manager like Frank Lampard was amazing. Everything he says to you, you take on board. Getting defensive tips from someone like Ashley Cole was so beneficial, too.

“It gave me a taste of being at that level and more determined than ever to become a regular there one day.”

Campbell added: “The target this season is to keep performing for the Under-21s and to get more chances in the First Team. I have a very good relationship with [Under-21s Head Coach] Paul Tait, having worked with him for two years with the Under-18s.

“I know what he wants from me, and he knows what I can give him and what I need to improve on so I’m looking forward to working with him again.”

Everton Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, said: “Elijah is a talented young player and we are delighted he has committed his future to Everton.

“He is a composed and athletic defender who is comfortable in possession. We look forward to working with him to continue the encouraging progress he has already made through our Academy.”