Plymouth Argyle are reportedly in advanced transfer talks to sign Everton defender Lewis Gibson, as reported by Football Insider.
Plymouth Argyle took League One by storm last year as they finished top with 101 points and secured promotion to the Championship, as well as taking the league title. And Steven Schumacher has set his sights on a new defender as he builds his squad ready for life in the second tier, Lewis Gibson is the name that the club are set to bring in from Premier League outfit Everton.
Gibson spent last season on loan in League One with Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers but has returned to parent club Everton, who have reportedly offered the defender a new contract on Merseyside. Gibson joined Everton in 2017 from Newcastle United but has never featured for the Toffees, with a number of loan spells to his name which includes Sheffield Wednesday, Reading and Fleetwood Town, as well as last season with Rovers.
The Pilgrims are reportedly in advanced talks over a permanent move for the 22-year-old, as they are set to beat a number of their rivals across the EFL to the capture of the highly-rated defender. Towards the end of his loan spell, Bristol Rovers manager Joey Barton had been optimistic as he discussed his plans to bring in the defender permanently but did admit he may not be successful, expecting offers to come in from teams in divisions above them.
However, Barton has already strengthened his defence in this summer’s transfer window with one defender coming in already. And it was Plymouth Argyle he chose to target as he brought in out of contract centre-back James Wilson from the Pilgrims. A return for Gibson may not have ever been on the table, given the compensation they would have been due to pay for the defender, as per FA rules.
Gibson played 31 matches in League One for Bristol Rovers last season, scoring once for the Gas during that time and did play in both fixtures against what appears to be his next employers. Despite his strong performances, news of the defender being offered a new contract at Goodison Park did come as a shock and it appears he still may be departing.
Wilson was one of the standouts in League One last season and it is no surprise that Barton wanted the chance to secure his services. Despite that, he is certainly capable of making the step up to the second tier and who better to take that step with than the Championship new boys in the Pilgrims?