Key contract date looms for Lewis Dobbin amid uncertain Everton future

The Toffees have still to tie down the young striker’s future to Goodison Park.

Everton's heroic 1-1 draw at Chelsea was indeed an evening to remember.

The Kids Are Alright

It was a night for the youngsters. A night for the kids who delivered the travelling supporters exactly the sort of performance they'd craved amid a run of lacklustre performances.

Jarrad Branthwaite earned the majority of the plaudits. Not only did he net the equalising goal but the 19-year-old was a rock at the back throughout.

Making his debut, Ellis Simms led the line doggedly against a Chelsea rearguard that consisted of Antonio Rüdiger, Thiago Silva and César Azpilicueta - three of the very best in Europe.

Judging on his performance and potential, there's little wonder why Everton tied Simms - who bagged 10 goals on loan at Blackpool last season - to a new contract earlier this year.

Ellis Simms battles for the ball against Chelsea. Picture: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

However, another fledgling talent who featured at Stamford Bridge's future is becoming increasingly precarious ahead of a key date.

Dobbin’s display

Lewis Dobbin replaced Simms in the 62nd minute for a third outing for Rafa Benitez’s side - and his performance impressed swathes of Evertonians.

The 18-year-old's energy and pace caught the eye and he rightfully received plenty of praise at the full-time whistle.

Dobbin's highly regarded at Goodison Park and there's an abundance of excitement surrounding him.

During pre-season, he bagged three hat-tricks for the under-23s.

For David Unsworth's side this season, he has two goals and an assist to his name.

Dobbin's also been a regular at England youth level, representing the under-15s up to the under-19s.

Contract situation

Everton, unsurprisingly, are keen to tie the forward down at Goodison Park.

He's out of contract at the season's end and, as of last month per The Athletic, talks had yet to resume following an initial offer.

The Blues will want to avoid a repeat of what happened with Thierry Small last summer. The left-back snubbed fresh terms to join Southampton, with Everton now due to a compensation fee.

Lewis Dobbin of Everton is challenged by Reece James of Chelsea. Picture: Clive Mason/Getty Images

But worryingly for the Toffees, Dobbin's free to speak to clubs overseas in just more than a week's time.

From January 1, players who are out of contract in the summer are permitted to hold negotiations with clubs outside England.

More crucially, pre-contract agreements are able to be signed.

Therefore, Dobbin is within his right to begin exploring his options in Europe in the new year.

Bundesliga interest

According to CaughtOffside, Dobbin has previously attracted interest from the Bundesliga.

In recent years, Jadon Sancho famously made the move from Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund. Jude Bellingham left Birmingham for the same club and has had immense success.

And even closer to home, Anthony Evans completed a switch from Goodison to SC Paderborn in the summer of 202, although he’s now back on these shores with Bristol Rovers.

If Dobbin was to depart for a club overseas, the compensation would be nominal. Rules are different compared to when a youngster joins a fellow English outfit.

Everton would certainly feel short-changed if that were to happen - significantly more so than with Small.

Certainly, a crunch period is approaching when it comes to Dobbin's future.

It's one that Everton must surely look to address before it's too late.