By Sam Stone

15th Sep, 2022 | 3:10pm

Everton youth prospect Coby Ebere has signed his professional contract with the club

17-year-old forward Coby Ebere has signed his first professional contract with Everton after progressing through the academy at Goodison Park.

Everton confirmed the news on 15 September that the youngster has signed a deal until the summer of 2025 and that Ebere will feature in Leighton Baines’ under-18 squad.

Ebere joined Everton’s academy at the age of 11 and operate on the wing and in a central striking position. The 17-year-old has featured in all three of the under-18’s matches so far and scored against Nottingham Forest in their season opener.

Academy revolution

The news of Ebere signing his first professional contract comes in a week where change has really started to occur behind the scenes in regards to the academy.

The Liverpool Echo revealed (13 September) that Chris Darlington will take over the role of head of academy coaching and John Ebbrell move to a new position within the club.

Kevin Thelwell clearly wants to implement a focus on youth and development at the club and getting some of Everton’s brighter young talents tied down to new contracts is a step in the right direction.

There are examples in the Premier League right now of youth products leaving for better deals elsewhere due to their parent club not offering them a contract or the terms they would’ve liked.

18-year-old Sonny Perkins, formally of West Ham United decided to leave the Hammers for Leeds United due to a lack of opportunities and contract wranglings.

Everton getting some of their younger players tied down for their crucial development stage will be vital to ensure they don’t lose any of their hottest prospects for a minimal fee in the future.