Everton Under-21s midfielder Halid Djankpata has signed his first professional contract until the end of June 2025.
The 18-year-old joined Everton’s Academy at the age of 14 and has progressed impressively through the ranks. Last season, he made eight league appearances for Leighton Baines’ Under-18s while also captaining the team on several occasions.
Djankpata's fine form at that level saw him rewarded with more opportunities with Paul Tait’s Under-21s squad and he finished the campaign having made 11 Premier League 2 appearances.
Djankpata is a versatile attacking midfielder who boasts good physical attributes and is strong in possession.
After putting pen to paper on his two-year deal, the teenager told evertontv: “I’m buzzing to sign my first professional contract at a lovely club. I’ve been here for five years; I can’t wait to get going for the new season.”
Reflecting on his time with the Academy so far, Djankpata added: “It’s been amazing. My whole time here, I have grown up as a person. My emotions have matured and I’m just so excited to keep pushing forward.”
Last season proved significant for Djankpata’s development and he was keen to show his appreciation for the role both Baines and Tait played in his progression.
“Last season was a positive one because it’s very good to captain your team and we won games,” he explained.
“Working with Leighton Baines is very enjoyable and easy because he can relate to you a lot as he just finished his career not too long ago. Paul Tait is an amazing coach, as well. He tells you a lot. You can take it all in because of the way he speaks to you.”
Djankpata finished 2022/23 having featured in Everton Under-21s’ final five matches and he is eager to use that as a springboard for the campaign ahead.
“I am aiming to start for the Under-21s in most games [next season],” he explained. “I would also really like to train with the Men’s Senior Team with a view to making my debut in the future.
“If I get the chance, I don’t think I will waste any time and will look to grab it as soon as I can.”