Darron Gibson has signed a contract extension with Everton. The Republic of Ireland midfielder was one of a number of senior players who were expected to be let go this summer so the extension has surprised a number of fans.
Gibson’s new contract will run until 2018 and he will be hoping to get a fresh start under a new manager at Goodison Park. Ronald Koeman is all but confirmed to take over as the Blues new manager and is likely to bring fitness coach, Jan Kluitenberg who will be tasked with keeping players like Gibson fit.
The midfielder always seemed to have potential when he broke through the youth ranks at Manchester United. His move to Goodison Park in 2012 surprised fans but Gibson showed glimpses of that potential.
At 28, Gibson will be looking to get back to playing regular football after only making 11 appearances last season for the Toffees. Towards the end of last season, Gibson made a number of surprise starts, including one in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
A different type of midfielder
Gibson is a different type of midfielder to what Everton already have in their squad. Gareth Barry is neat and tidy on the ball but is coming to the end of his career. Muhamed Besic is seen as the most likely long-term replacement for Barry.
James McCarthy still has to improve his all around game but has time on his side. McCarthy gets around the pitch well but at times can lack in other areas. At times, his passing can raise eyebrows but he has shown he has potential going forward as an all-round central midfielder.
Gibson can pass the ball like Barry does but he doesn’t get about the pitch like McCarthy.
Youngsters like Tom Davies will be expected to push Gibson and Besic for a role in the Everton squad for next season, after a number of impressive performances late on in the last Premier League campaign.
Gibson was expected to be released
Gibson was one of a handful of senior players who Everton fans thought they’d seen the last of at Goodison park. All of Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar’s contracts are set to expire this summer and without a manager in charge, it’s unlikely they know where they stand.
If Gibson was able to get an extension, Pienaar and Osman may get an additional year. Tony Hibbert may retire after making only a handful of senior appearances in the last 18 months.