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CONFIRMED: Everton sign England youth international goalkeeper

Billy Crellin joins the Blues from Fleetwood Town

Bolton Wanderers v Bradford City - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

Everton have strengthened their youth system at the goalkeeping position by signing Billy Crellin from Fleetwood Town.

The England Under-20 youth international was the subject of an earlier bid from the Toffees a couple of years ago, but the move was vetoed by manager Joey Barton. There has been no confirmation of the transfer fee, but the player went through a medical on deadline day and joined the Blues.

Crellin’s contract with the Cod Army was set to expire at the end of this current season, but along with the transfer he signed a new contract that will take him through to the end of the 2023-24 season at Everton.

The 21-year-old has fallen out of the spotlight in the last couple of years after some difficult loan spells at Chorley and Bolton Wanderers. He went through a torrid time at the Trotters last season with the Blackpool-born keeper heavily criticized by Bolton manager Ian Evatt and then eventually resulting in his getting dropped.

Harry Tyrer has convincingly won the starting job at Everton Under-23s, with Zan Luk Leban sealing his spot as backup to him. The addition of Crellin will strengthen that group, though it will also allow Tyrer to leave on loan to get some quality playing time outside Premier League 2 next season.

In the first team, Asmir Begovic is on a one-year deal with an option to extend. He has done well this season whenever he’s had to step in for starter Jordan Pickford, so no reason to believe he won’t get signed up for another season, allowing Tyrer to hone his craft in the Championship ideally before coming back to back-up Pickford.