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Everton agree deal for defender labelled the "next John Stones"

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Everton have reached agreement with League One side Bury over the transfer of defender Matty Foulds. Click herefor a previous story from last month where we previewed the youngster and Everton's pursuit.

The 17-year-old will join the club when the January transfer window opens in a few weeks time and go straight into the academy squad.

Foulds is a product of Bury's youth academy, signing his first professional contract in February and making his senior debut in the Capital One Cup against Leicester in August.

The Bradford-born defender is a left footed centre half but is also comfortable playing at full-back.

Aston Villa and Tottenham have been linked with Foulds in the past, but Everton's close proximity to Bury gave them an advantage in the race for his signature.

His arrival continues a trend of signing young talent from the lower divisions, demonstrated most successfully with John Stones, who had only played a handful of games for Barnsley before joining the Blues in 2013.

Brendan Galloway joined from MK Dons last year and is now a first-team regular while Mason Holgate followed Stones in signing from Barnsley in August.

Indeed, Bury are managed by David Flitcroft, who was in charge at Barnsley when Stones left for Goodison Park. Flitcroft has been quoted labelling Foulds as the "next John Stones".

No pressure then, kid.

We may not see Foulds in the senior squad for a while but it's still encouraging to see the club scouting the lower divisions for potential, which could ultimately save the club millions in the long term.