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Wonderkid Central Part X: Lewis Dobbin – The Next Great Academy Hope at Everton


Everton’s performance in the Premier League has been poor in recent years. They have gone from being one of the best teams in the league to fighting against relegation. However, throughout their struggles, the club’s academy has been a source of pride.

Anthony Gordon netted them nearly £45 million with his move to Everton, and now, Lewis Dobbin is itching to make his proper breakthrough.

The 20-year-old forward has been in and around the first-team picture at Everton and this season looks to be the one where he becomes a bonafide first-teamer.

So, let’s get into Lewis Dobbin’s Scouting Report, and why are Everton fans so excited by his arrival.

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Who is Lewis Dobbin?

Lewis Dobbin is a 20-year-old forward who has been with Everton since the age of 11. He was born in Stoke-on-Trent and has already made his senior bow for the team.

He made his U18s debut in 2018/19, as a 16-year-old and soon after, he was bossing that level. In the 2019/20 season, Dobbin scored 11 and assisted five in just 16 appearances for the U18s.

After a serious knee injury scuppered his plans of making good on that momentum in the 2020/21 season, he came back with a vengeance the season after.

Now a part of the U23s, he scored six and assisted two in 18 appearances. His overall play was good enough that he was rewarded with his senior debut in the 2021/22 season. He came on for Alex Iwobi on September 25, 2021, in a moment that has the potential to be remembered as a defining one depending upon Dobbin’s career trajectory.

With Everton not wanting to halt his progress, they sent him on loan to Derby County in League One in the hope of him gaining senior football experience.

The move paid dividends because Dobbin played 54 games across all competitions as he was thrown in at the deep end of senior football immediately.

He swam through the troubles and ended up scoring five and assisting six in those games.

Armed with proper senior football experience, he has already exceeded his minutes for Everton this season than the last one, including a maiden league start for the club.

Style of play

Dobbin is versatility personified. Throughout his career, he has played in every position in the forward line- left, right, striker, withdrawn forward, and attacking midfielder.

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The position he enjoys the most is on the left, where he can cut inside on his stronger right foot.

However, unlike many inside forwards, what makes Dobbin hard to defend against is his ability with both feet. He is equally as comfortable on his left foot which has often seen managers station on the right wing to add unpredictability to the attack.

As is necessary for any inside forward these days, he is blessed with those two traits- Dribbling and speed.

Dobbin is a one-man counter-attack at full flow, easily skipping past defenders either through a piece of skill or knocking the ball forward and outpacing his man.

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In his current form, he is an eccentric attacker who can sometimes be guilty of not thinking about the team by not tracking back diligently.

Sean Dyche started him on the opening day of this season and gave him minutes in the next two games but he hasn’t played since as the team failed to taste victory in any game he played.

However, that is not a declaration of the limitation of the player’s talent. Rather, it is a sign that for all his potential, he is likely not ready to be an undisputed PL-level starter yet.

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Lewis Dobbin potential

Young players with raw tools and the mentality to succeed are often the ones who make it to the top. Dobbin has both in abundance. He needs help with the tactical side of the game which comes through good coaching and match experience.

At his best, Dobbin will be a dynamic ball carrier and counter-attacking threat who flourishes in space. For a team like Everton, especially with the way Sean Dyche sets up his teams, such an asset will be priceless in the future.

Dyche has prior experience as well in extracting the best version of a talented winger. He honed the skillset of Dwight McNeil at Burnley before he was reunited with the player at Everton.

Dobbin’s two-footedness, combined with his agility and natural dribbling ability makes him a potentially elite Premier League winger. His eccentric style of play does not need to be reined in but needs to be molded to make him an unstoppable player.

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Everton remains in flux right now but some recent good results have eased the pressure somewhat. With domestic cup fixtures looming on the horizon and the FA Cup in the picture as well, these could be ideal competitions for Dobbin to get reintroduced to the first team.

In the meantime, one can be sure that Dyche is working with his player of limitless talent to convert him into the complete wide forward who is as lethal going forward as he is diligent tracking back.



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