Everton Under-21s striker Francis Okoronkwo has signed a new contract with the Club until the end of June 2026.
The 19-year-old joined the Blues from Sunderland in September 2021, before impressing for Everton Under-18s during the 2021/22 campaign.
The Blythe-born forward progressed to become a regular for the Under-21s last season, where he remains a key performer for the young Blues.
“I’m buzzing to sign this new deal,” said Okoronkwo to evertontv. “I feel at home at Everton and think I’ve been improving here ever since I arrived.
“Everton is like a family. We’re all striving towards the same goal. I just love being here. I love the lads, I love the coaches and they’re always trying to improve you every day.”
The promising young striker has regularly joined training sessions with Sean Dyche’s Men’s Senior Team, including during the summer, when Okoronkwo was part of the pre-season camp in France and Switzerland.
Learning valuable lessons alongside experienced players, Okoronkwo particularly enjoys the opportunity to train alongside Everton’s number nine, Dominic Calvert Lewin.
“I think going up to train with the Senior Team has been great for my learning,” he added. “The speed and the tempo they play is very different. But I feel like after a few weeks in pre-season, I got better. I just want more opportunities with them.
“I like to watch DCL and everything he does. I love watching him play. I feel like the one thing he does most is he always helps the team no matter where he is on the pitch.”
Featuring in 26 Premier League 2 matches last season, Okoronkwo - having turned 19 in September - already feels like an experienced member of the Under-21s.
With that, comes responsibility for the young striker, who outlined the impact of Head Coach Paul Tait on his emerging career.
“With Taity, we have quite a close relationship,” said Okoronkwo. “I think that’s what builds me as a person.
“As a character, he helps me off the pitch, as well as on the pitch. It’s just proven because every year, every session, every week I’m getting better under him.
“Towards the start of the season, I feel like we had a lot of younger players playing. With my responsibility in the team now, I’ve got to look after them. That’s not going to be perfect straight away, but they’re getting there and they’re playing well.”
On Okoronkwo’s new contract, Everton Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, said: “We’re delighted to have Francis extend his deal. He’s a very promising young player and he’s progressed well since joining the Club.
“As a striker, he’s really well-rounded and he’s already earned valuable experience at a young age, so we look forward to watching him continue his development at Everton.”