28/11/2023 10comments  |  Jump to last

Everton have beaten off competition from a number of clubs to sign 16-year-old striker Braiden Graham from Linfield following an initial report to that effect by MSN.

The teenager, who was also being closely monitored by Brighton, will join the Toffees at the end of this season on a scholarship deal with a view to turning professional when he turns 17.

In March, he became Linfield's youngest ever player when he made his senior debut against Dungannon Swifts in the Irish Premiership at the age of 15 years and 137 days.

The Northern Ireland club's manager, David Healy, said of Graham at the time: "He's got all the tools, all the attributes, but we'll not be getting carried away — he has got a long, tough road ahead of him.

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"He brings goals, he brings energy. I've seen Braiden for the last three years or so in and around the academy — he stepped up to under-18s, he's playing under-20s, against real physical specimens in some of the teams he is playing against.

"He's brave and he's 'goals, goals, goals', he prowls in and around and he's a deadly finisher.

"He'll get all the help and advice and coaching points that we can give him and I, as an ex-centre forward, can offer him. He's a sponge, he wants to learn, and he has a good future ahead of him."

Born in Darragh Cross, Graham has represented Northern Ireland at U16 and U17 level so far.

Quotes sourced from The Athletic

Reader Comments (10)

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Andy Crooks
1 Posted 28/11/2023 at 18:30:28
This is good news.
Dave Cashen
2 Posted 28/11/2023 at 18:34:05
Don't leave it there Andy.

Warrayahear. Warrayasay

Tony Everan
3 Posted 28/11/2023 at 18:55:20
Sounds like he had a choice of clubs, so welcome to Everton, Braiden.
Jack Convery
4 Posted 28/11/2023 at 20:25:02
A lot of people have been talking this kid up for a while and clubs have been sniffing around him, so very glad to hear Everton have stepped up to the plate and secured him. Here's to him succeeding and becoming a first-team regular.
Alan J Thompson
5 Posted 29/11/2023 at 15:56:05
I hope this lad lives up to the praise from his coach but I have fears that, after Haaland's lack of appeal, he might be another Martin Murray (one for older readers).
Don Wright
6 Posted 29/11/2023 at 16:16:45
Dave, is that a reference to Angels with Dirty faces Cagney/​O'Brien?
Andy Crooks
7 Posted 29/11/2023 at 16:51:27
Dave, this is what I know.

I'm not a Linfield supporter and have never seen him play. However, a friend, a woman who has followed Larne, long before they became the Irish League Chelsea, has.

Also, her grandson, who has been involved with Linfield for a long time, says he is the best young player he has ever seen.
Loads of talent, with a brilliant attitude. Heard this ages ago.

Alan, I well remember Martin Murray!! He was good.

Tom Bowers
8 Posted 29/11/2023 at 16:58:32
Let's worry about what we need now.

Everton have signed many ''prospects'' in the past and many have gone on to be of no use to Everton.

Rooney was the best we ever had and we all know what happened there.

Let's get this ''10 points'' appeal off and running.

Dave Cashen
9 Posted 29/11/2023 at 17:49:48
Ok ayAndy.

Word tends to get out when a Good'n comes along. You can't keep talent a secret. I'll look out for young Braiden - A Christian name I have not come across before.

Welcome aboard son.


Maybe. I can't be sure, but I definitely stole it from a Yank Gangster film.

Don Wright
10 Posted 29/11/2023 at 22:51:00
Yes, Dave, that's the one. It also had Bogart in it. 1938… and no, I did not see it first time around but me and a old shipmate used to greet each other with that for many a year,.

I will keep an eye out for this lad next season as it seems more U21 games are being played at Walton Hall Park now, which is easier to get to than Southport.

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