18/01/2024 5comments  |  Jump to last

Everton U21 defender Ryan Astley has completed a free transfer to Dundee after agreeing personal terms. 

The 22-year-old centre-back has been a regular for the U21s but has found it difficult to make the giant step up to the first team despite progressing through the ranks of the Everton Academy since age 9. He has tasted life on the senior subs bench on just 2 occasions in the last 3 years. 

He spent last season on loan with Accrington Stanley after establishing himself in the Everton U21 side over the previous four seasons and captaining the side with over 30 appearances in PL2 and other competitions in 2021-22. His loan spell went well until last February when he picked up a bad ankle injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season, and likely scuppered any chance of a further loan this season, although Everton granted him a 1-year extension to his contract.

He now leaves the club where he grew up to accept a 2½-year deal, with Everton apparently getting no transfer or development fee for the years he has spent in the Academy, although the BBC claim that Dundee have paid an "undisclosed fee".

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Dundee manager Tony Docherty welcomed him, saying:

"Ryan is one that we have done extensive scouting on and we feel that he will fit in very well here.

"He’s an old-school defender who enjoys defending and we think he can enhance the squad that we have here.”


Reader Comments (5)

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Phil Smith
1 Posted 18/01/2024 at 17:55:16
Why no development fee?
Dave Abrahams
2 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:01:45
Is there at least a percentage for any future transfer fees?

Good luck, Ryan, stay clear of injuries and I hope you have a good football future.

Brent Stephens
3 Posted 18/01/2024 at 18:24:55
Always put in an honest shift for the U23s / U21s. Never shirked a confrontation. Good luck, mate.
John Pickles
4 Posted 18/01/2024 at 20:27:50
R Astley, I thought we were never gonna give him up!

Come on, someone had to say it!

Dupont Koo
5 Posted 19/01/2024 at 01:34:17
Thanks for the update, Michael. There were reports from some channels that, despite no transfer or development fee on the transfer, there is a future sell-on clause included.

Tipping my hat again to Thelwell if that is the case (Proper Asset Management!): freeing a salary (comparatively small on First Team Scale but any penny counts nowadays!) and ensuring the club can get something down the road (no more comprehensive "Free Transfers").

Whether that future payment is likely to materialise or not will all depends on whether Ryan will pan out with tons of playing time up north. So all the best to him!

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