Grimsby Town teenager Evan Khouri has penned his first professional contract, agreeing a one-year deal.
The 18-year-old, who was named in LFE’s ‘The 11’ in May, joins fellow academy graduates Luis Adlard and Jaz Goundry in committing their future to the Mariners.
Central midfielder Khouri made his senior debut in the Carabao Cup in September, but truly established himself in April when he earned a first outing in Sky Bet League Two against Bolton Wanderers, which was the first of six starts on the trot to finish the 2020/21 season.
“The gaffer gave me the opportunity to play for the first team and I have loved every minute of it,” he told the club website. “I think under him, the squad that he has brought in, I can show what I can to the fans but also to myself.
“I was just over the moon (making the team at the end of the season). I wasn’t expecting it but when he gave me the opportunity to play and make my League debut, I was just biting at the opportunity to play. I wasn’t expecting to be in the squad, let alone start, but starting in all the following games I was just over the moon. All I did was play my game, I gave it all I have got, gave 100% and I must have impressed him to keep playing me.
“I’m a versatile player, so I can in centre midfield or on the left, I have got a good left foot, I work hard off the ball defensively and then going forward I have that calmness and composure to make a pass or take a shot. The gaffer said he was really impressed with me, he said that I handled the situation really well, dealing with the physicality of the first team and just told me to keep playing how I have been.
Manager Paul Hurst said: “I’m pleased that Evan has decided to sign up with us. He had a very positive end to last season, he was a positive in a very difficult season for us.
“Evan has a good attitude, plays in a number of positions and has got the right attitude to learn and to progress with us going forward. He will be looking for more opportunities with us next season and because he has got a very level head on his shoulders, we’re optimistic on what he can do with us moving forward.”