The Echo are reporting that Everton's U-21 midfielder Ryan Ledson has signed a new three-year contract. Ledson, who just turned seventeen yesterday has been with the club since he was five and is considered to be very close to joining the first team. He was on the bench for two matches last season and was supposed to play in the final match but was called up to play for his country. Over the summer he captained the England U-17 squad that won the European Championship.
With a new contract secured, he will undoubtedly have his sights set on getting a crack at first team action. He was quoted saying: "I'm delighted. I've been here since I was a young kid and this is what you strive towards. The day has finally come, so I'm made up...For me, it's been 12 years of hard work at Everton football club to get to this day, but there is no better place to be and I'm absolutely over the moon. Now I just want to keep playing well for the Under-21s and then hopefully an opportunity will come around again with the first team in the future."
There is no doubt that the player is an immense talent considering that Roberto Martinez felt confident enough to name him as a substitute at the end of the last campaign. He may even get a shot at sitting on the bench again sometime in the near future depending on the outcome of Ross Barkley's upcoming scans which will give the club a better idea of how long he may be out. However, it is hard to say at this time if that will happen as the manager may feel that Ledson needs more seasoning in the early part of the season with the U-21 squad.
This extension is in line with the club's focus on having a young core that will be contracted to the team for the next several years. Over the summer the club extended the contracts of Ross Barkley, 20; Seamus Coleman, 25 and John Stones, 20. They also brought in Romelu Lukaku, 21 and Muhamed Besic, 21 each on five-year contracts. One other budding star that may receive a new contract is James McCarthy, 23. As with some of the others named above, McCarthy has been part of transfer rumors to other clubs; in his case it is primarily Manchester United. Roberto Martinez could put those rumors to bed by offering an extension to the Scottish midfielder.