Everton Under-18s winger Coby Ebere is champing at the bit to get back to his best once he completes his recovery from an injury setback.
Hoping to resume their winning ways after defeat to Derby County last time out, the young Blues take on Leeds United on Saturday (12pm GMT) at Finch Farm.
Ebere, who joined the the Everton Academy aged 11, scored eight goals in 18 appearances in the Under-18 Premier League during the 2022/23 season. However, ahead of the current campaign, the Manchester-born attacker suffered an injury in the summer.
“It’s been very frustrating because I’ve been injured since pre-season," said Ebere, speaking to evertonfc.com. "But I’m on way back now and getting much closer.
“It’s been a difficult time but I've been fully focused on doing the right things and I've got faith that when I’m back, I’ll pick up where I left off.
“The coaches have kept me involved throughout, sending me different clips so I can watch and analyse them - and then I’ll watch all of the games too, so I've still been learning – even when I've not been on the pitch.
"I’m out on the grass now but I’m just doing work with the physios. I’m hoping to be playing with the team again in the next few weeks."
The 18-year-old often operates from the left flank and impressed enough last season to earn minutes for Paul Tait’s Everton Under-21s, for whom he made two league appearances.
Ebere is now targeting more of those experiences, while also revealing another key motivation that fuels his desire to return to full fitness.
“I’ve been alright mentally because I have a strong support system at the Club and at home, so I’ve been fine,” said Ebere. “Sometimes it’s difficult, but you just have to get through it.
“I really want to be back for the FA Youth Cup. I'm hoping to be available before then, so I just need to get myself in the best shape possible, and hopefully get some minutes when I return.
“I’d like to have a good Youth Cup campaign; get minutes for the Under-21s and get double digits for both assists and goals. They’re my aims for the season. After that, the long-term goal is the Senior Team – 100 per cent.”