Bristol Rovers have been dealt a defensive blow, due to Premier League side Everton offering a new contract to the clubs former loanee Lewis Gibson, as confirmed by the Premier League sides official retained list.
The defender was set to become a free agent this summer, with his contract about to expire. However, it now appears as though Everton are unlikely to part ways with their £6million man anytime soon.
Who is Lewis Gibson?
The 22-year-old began his professional career with Newcastle, before moving to Everton as a youngster for a significant transfer fee. He’s enjoyed loan stints with the likes of Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Fleetwood Town, before signing for Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers last summer.
With the League One side, Gibson made a total of 31 league appearances as well as featuring in two further cup matches for the club. In this time, he managed just the one goal, scoring against his former club Fleetwood in a 2-1 win in April.
League One awaits
Bristol Rovers had a strong start to the 2022/23 season, before a sudden turn in form, saw them drop down the League One standings and as a result, finished in the bottom half of the division.
After 46 league matches, Bristol Rovers finished the season in 17th place, winning 14 games but losing a further 21, almost half of their league games. As a result, the club finished just eight points above the relegation zone.
What’s been said?
Everton posted a short message on their retained list, confirming they’ve offered Gibson a new contract, stating…
‘New contracts have also been offered to Ryan Astley and Lewis Gibson, while the Club has activated options to extend deals for Jack Barrett and Mackenzie Hunt until the end of June 2024.’
Bristol Rovers need to improve defensively next season, if they are going to improve on where they finished last campaign. However, missing out on a player of Gibson’s quality would be a huge loss for Joey Barton’s men.
If Gibson does stay or opts to move away from Bristol Rovers, the club will need to come up with a plan B as quickly as possible, to ensure that they don’t fall behind during the transfer window.