Lewis Gibson is only two games into his loan spell at Fleetwood Town, but he’s already impressing at Highbury, drawing plaudits from manager Joey Barton.
The 19-year-old has played every minute of every game since joining Fleetwood on deadline day and could give Carlo Ancelotti a lot to ponder at Everton next season if he continues to shine.
Gibson made his debut in Town’s 2-1 win over Doncaster Rovers (February 1). As per WhoScored, he made 32 touches, won three aerial duels, completed 54.2% of his 24 passes, made one tackle, blocked one shot and made one clearance.
Barton raved over his performance, saying: “Lewis Gibson looked the real deal and handled it superbly, and he’ll come on so much for that.”
His second appearance came in Fleetwood’s 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon (February 8). Gibson helped limit Wimbledon to just two shots on target over the 90 minutes and drew more praise from his manager.
Barton said: “Lewis (Gibson) only played his second ever league game and a lot of balls came down his channel, which he dealt with. He was outstanding and got better and better as the game went on.”
Everton were in the market for a centre-back last summer to provide backup to Michael Keane and Yerry Mina before Mason Holgate became a regular. They failed to sign a defender in January and may now abandon their pursuit due to Gibson’s progression.
It’s still early days for the 19-year-old, but he has a contract until 2022 and is impressing in League One.