After a difficult start to the season, Everton have finally found their feet under Sean Dyche. The Toffees looked on course for another campaign of relegation fears but have since eased those with victories over Bournemouth and West Ham United. Amid Everton’s financial fair play investigation, too, they could do with all the points they can get, as a potential 12-point deduction looms.
Those at Goodison Park will hope to see the investigation end with a far less severe punishment, but will know that the only way to avoid complete damage is to get results on the pitch. What will certainly help Dyche plan for the future is the recent news of one particular young player’s contract extension.
Everton contract update
On paper, Everton’s transfer business in the summer window should be enough to keep them afloat in the Premier League this season. The likes of Jack Harrison are more than capable of performing at Goodison Park alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has finally been back to his goalscoring best as of late. Whilst the Toffees return to form on the pitch, Dyche will be keen to see things return to their best away from Goodison Park, and away from the reported FFP investigation.
With that said, Everton have agreed a new deal with Francis Okoronkwo. According to Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider, the 19 year-old has put pen to paper on a long-term contract following a breakthrough in talks. The forward can now look ahead towards gaining a place in Dyche’s first-team, having impressed for Everton’s youth sides since making the move from Sunderland for £1m in 2021.
Even as Calvert-Lewin gets closer to his best, Everton’s need for goals has not gone away, handing Okoronwko the perfect chance to make an impact in Merseyside for the first time since joining the club.
Okoronkwo is a “composed” young striker
After being handed opportunities in the EFL Trophy this season, Okoronkwo may well be hoping to receive his Premier League debut at some stage in the current campaign. Ahead of the 19-year-old in the pecking order is currently Calvert-Lewin, Beto and Youssef Chermiti, however, which gives the youngster quite the mountain to climb when it comes to winning the faith of Dyche.
For the U21s this season, meanwhile, Okoronkwo’s stats haven’t stood out enough to warrant an opportunity in England’s top flight just yet. In seven Premier League 2 games, the striker has scored two goals and assisted one other in what has been a frustrating start to the season. That’s not to say that he doesn’t have potential, though, with The Athletic’s Patrick Boyland certainly left impressed by his performances in the past, posting on X: “Everton U18s lead at Old Trafford! Francis Okoronkwo again! Really composed finish.”
With that said, Dyche could yet have a plan for the forward and the fact that Okoronkwo has reportedly been handed a new deal is nothing but a good sign. From here, if he pushes on, we could be seeing a lot more of the teenager.