Lewis Dobbin joined Everton's Academy aged 11 and progressed through the ranks to the point where he was named Under-18s Player of the Season in 2019-20 after scoring 11 times in 16 games.
A skilful, pacy striker, the Stoke-born player was rewarded with promotion to David Unsworth's Under-23s side that season and his first professional contract in January 2020, a deal that tied him to the Toffees until June 2022.
But he started the 2020-21 season playing for the Under-18s. Dobbin suffered as many
young players do from a serious knee injury sustained in training. It
happened in January 2021 and would sideline him for the most of the season.
He did return for one game at U23 level but came off early and did not
However, fully recovered by July 2021, Lewis Dobbin had a tremendous
pre-season for the Under-23s, scoring a remarkable trio of hat-tricks as
David Unsworth readied his side for another tilt at the Premier League 2
title. But the real thing proved a bit more challenging. Dobbin
needed 5 games before he registered his first goal for the U23s.
But he'd done enough to be recognized by Rafa Benitez and was
named as a first-team substitute against Norwich in September 2021,
coming on for a meaningless cameo in the last few minutes to secure his
first team debut. He would make two more Premier League appearances
off the bench under Benitez for a total of just 29 minutes on the field.
Into the final year of his contract, there was much discussion and
uncertainty about his Everton future but that was resolved toward the end
of January 2022 when Everton secured his signature on a new 3½-year deal
running until June 2025.
Speaking to evertontv, Dobbin said: “It's a huge honour that the Club has put their faith in me with this new deal.
“I love Everton and I've been here for such a long time now. I'm so grateful for the chances I've been given and to all the coaches I've had during my time in the Academy.
“I'm comfortable in the environment here and I just want to make the people at Everton proud and my family proud.
“I'm going to keep working hard and keep pushing. Hopefully I can get more opportunities in the First Team and score my first goal.”
But perhaps tellingly, he would get no first-team opportunities under
new manager Frank Lampard, who was so petrified by the prospect of
Everton's impending relegation on his watch that he spurned playing any
of the youngsters until the final game of the season, after Premier
League safety was assured.
In August 2022, Dobbin secured a season-long loan move to Derby
County, despite continuing injury woes for Everton's only real striker,
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, although it was
very unlikely that Dobbin would have been considered as a viable option
to deputise for him. In late December, he finally scored his first goal in League One for
Derby County, after 20 games, after contributing just two other goals in
the EFL Trophy and the FA Cup but, on the whole, it was a difficult assignment at a struggling club.
Back at Everton, Dobbin used the pre-season in the summer of 2023 to impress new boss Sean Dyche and did enough to force his way into the first-team reckoning early in the new season. Appearances off the bench in the first two games against Fulham and Aston Villa were followed by a full senior debut in the third game against Wolves at Goodison Park.
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