Marcel Brands’ long term plan for Everton starts at the youth level, and to that end the Blues have handed young defender Matty Foulds a new deal. The 20-year-old struggled with injuries last season but featured in 18 games for the Under-23 side, alternating between the centre half and left back positions.
With his new one-year deal, Foulds will get another chance to show that he can stick with David Unsworth’s youth side, and look to break into the senior squad as well. There a number of former and current youth side players that are currently in contention, with Mason Holgate, Morgan Feeney and Matthew Pennington ahead of him in the pecking order.
The Blues are thin at left back behind Leighton Baines, with Luke Garbutt away on loan and especially with Brendan Galloway proving to be a failure at the position. Everton have used Callum Connolly at the position too, but he was a revelation on loan at Ipswich Town as a midfielder and is unlikely to go back to fullback.
Speaking after signing the new contract, Foulds said -
“It means the world to me [to sign the deal]. I don’t want to go anywhere else, I want to stay where I am and develop here.
“Everton is a great club for any young player to be at. The Club has a reputation for playing young lads and giving them opportunities. And the people here, too - the staff, the players - they’re all so welcoming.
“The fact that they’ve offered me a contract even though I’ve been injured, I have to take as a real positive and try to do as well as I can next season.”
He also commended Unsworth, crediting him for his development.
“He is very inspirational. If I do something wrong, he’s there to help me put things right.
“He is very experienced in my position so in training he gives me lots of great advice.
“He helped me a lot throughout last season. When I was injured, he was always checking in with me and asking me how I was. He is just great to be around, along with all the players and coaches. I learn every day.”
Foulds recovered before the end of the season and scored his only goal of the season at Old Trafford as the Under-23s drew 2-2.
“It was a frustrating season for me in many ways but at the end I got a few games under my belt.
“I did better than I thought I would - playing 90 minutes of games straight after one another. I felt fit enough to play the full matches which is another positive to take out of it.
“Scoring at Old Trafford is something I’ll remember for a long time. I was made up, especially as a lot of my family support Man United!
“I feel ready to go for the new season coming on, now. I just want to keep improving all round.”