Everton youngster Beni Baningime is looking forward to a bright future with the club after signing a first professional contract.
The 18-year-old was handed a place in Everton’s academy shortly after moving to England from the Democratic Republic of Congo at the age of eight.
Baningime, who is known for his ability as a midfield enforcer, has progressed through the ranks quickly and captained the under-18 side to success in the Dallas Cup in March.
Everton see the teenager as a bright prospect for the future and have moved quickly to tie him down to a first professional contract.
Baningime said: “I’m made up that I’ve got the contract.
“I’d like to thank everyone; my family and the Academy coaches for all having faith in me.
“I’m happy with the way I have progressed. At the end of last season, I found my form and was playing well. It’s carried on into this season and hopefully it continues even longer.
“I had no idea the contract was coming. I was surprised that I went away with the Under-23s in pre-season because I thought I would be with the Under-18s for most of this year.
“David Unsworth had faith in me and I’m delighted that it has paid off.”